Twisp Togetherness….TwiSpiritedness? Whatever you call it, if you ask a local, they’ll say it’s real. In recent months, however, as with everything else the pandemic is leaving its palpable impact here, too. That’s why the Town of Twisp recently launched the Community “B.E.E.” Initiative, aligning seamlessly with the Twisp Chamber of Commerce’s mission to advocate both business and community health. Twisp Chamber marketing director, Jamie Petitto, interviewed Mayor Soo regarding the movement and the message behind it.
What, exactly, is B.E.E.?
B.E.E. stands for “Be Empathetic to Everyone” and is an initiative of the Town of Twisp to remind us during these challenging times about what we all know to be so special about this place we call home: our community itself. B.E.E. is a symbol of who we are – emblemized in the Twisp name, and whose attributes include a strong sense of community built upon a network of working relationships with each other.
How did the idea of B.E.E. come about?
The idea for the B.E.E. initiative came during a rather painful incident in which several of the Town’s essential businesses met with Twisp Chamber representatives and me to voice their frustrations after dealing with a growing number of pandemic-related verbal attacks from patrons. During this meeting, I fully empathized with what they were saying and feeling – and that led to a collective realization and understanding that we just all need to be nicer to each other, to understand that we are all in the same boat in dealing with the daily stress and pressures impacting us from COVID-19.
Why is B.E.E. important for the Town of Twisp / Methow Valley during this time?
This community has gone through a lot together. We have shared the pain and burden of natural disasters, loss, and tragedy. However, unlike other previous stressful events, the current pandemic has had an impact on everyone in our community at the same time. Lives and livelihoods have been deeply impacted, creating a universally-heightened level of fear, anxiety, frustration, and anger. And, what we see in the news from the outside world only seems to further feed these emotions. But, as history has shown us, together we have overcome, and so together we will overcome again.
How can someone experience B.E.E.?
The Town of Twisp hired local artist Baylie Peplow (Red Umbrella Designs) to create a signature B.E.E. design to get us started. Since art plays a strong role in the newly certified ‘Creative Arts District’ of Twisp, you will soon see the B.E.E. image popping up in various places around town to create a BUZZ about the important message behind the symbol.
What can someone do if they would like to learn more about B.E.E.?
The B.E.E. initiative was first conceived in discussions with our local businesses to show them support, but it really is a campaign for all of us to embrace. We hope that anyone feeling the pressures of this pandemic will be proud to join the movement to better support each other. There is no membership, so anyone can be a part of it. To start, B.E.E. bumper stickers and buttons will be available to help share and spread this important message of solidarity, and to express one’s personal commitment to being more empathetic and compassionate toward others.
What can we expect to see as a result of the B.E.E. Initiative?
Kindness and community are not always visible to the naked eye and so, though you will be seeing symbols and signs of the initiative at work within the community, it is much more about experiencing the B.E.E.! Our committee of very talented local artists and marketing experts have some fun ideas percolating to further promote the fostering of the B.E.E. initiative, so I won’t give anything away right now – except to say: join the movement and “B.E.E.” a positive part of making our community stronger and more rewarding!
Any last thoughts for the citizens of Twisp?
This community has experienced adversity before. In the past, our trials have strengthened us to become an even stronger and more tight-knit community. I believe that with intention on being more empathetic and kinder to each other, we can and will continue to “B.E.E.” the amazing community that we are!
JOIN THE MOVEMENT: