On a chilly evening in late February, Rachel Oppenheim, Director of the School of Education, attended a “Curiosity Club Pop-Up,” an experimental dinner designed to bring together 10 strangers over food, stories, and conversation. The dinner was hosted by local public radio station KUOW and organized by its Community Engagement Producer, Kristin Leong, who is an alum of the School of Education and a member of our Committee of Community Advisors. The conversation was fueled by five KUOW stories on a variety of thought-provoking topics. Patricia Murphy, the reporter who created one of the stories, was also in attendance. The guiding question for the pop-up dinner was, “Can surprising stories and great food transform a group of strangers into a community?”
The Curiosity Club Pop-Up crew spent two scintillating hours together connecting around a broad range of topics, ranging from mental health, religion, school segregation, incarceration, and the line between journalism and art. The conversation helped thaw the literal and figurative “Seattle freeze” for this group of strangers.