If you haven’t gotten a chance to visit Terrain’s Snapshot Spokane showcase yet, you need to make your way over to their gallery in the Washington Cracker Company building before it closes on September 30th. Snapshot Spokane creatively captures “a look at Spokane right now”. It does not require a lot of attention to see that our city is quickly developing and growing; it is clear as you walk the streets of downtown or surrounding neighborhoods. The Spokane we have known may continue to change in the next few years, but our wonderful and unique Spokane needs to be captured and celebrated.

One of my favorite things about Snapshot Spokane is that Terrain’s desire was not simply to show all of the exciting and beautiful experiences we come across here, but to truly capture our city from all perspectives. The community was asked to add #SnapshotSpokane to their social media photos so that their viewpoint could be included. It was exciting for me to see many of my photos added to the gallery wall. My photos encapsulate Spokane with beautiful sunsets, adventures with my husband and our friends, fields of sunflowers, and the most adorable photos of our yellow lab (affectionately named Spokane). However, my perspective does not begin to depict the stories that Spokane holds.

Terrain gave cameras to specific populations of people in our city whose perspective is not often shared. With each of these groups, Terrain held a special reception at the gallery to showcase their contributions to Snapshot. The two highlighted organizations were Crosswalk of Spokane and Global Neighborhood. Crosswalk has an emergency shelter, a school dropout prevention program, and other amazing programs whose goal it is to break the cycle of youth homelessness. Global Neighborhood’s mission is to provide former refugees with opportunities for holistic development, including finding employment and being matched with an American to better learn English and about American culture. People who experience homelessness and former refugees are an important part of our community, and it was Terrain’s goal to make their voices heard.

I have realized that I often miss the impact that the homeless and refugee populations are making on our city as a whole. In Crosswalk’s display, Kayleah Holcomb shared, “I want people to see how beautiful Spokane is, and that as homeless youth we don’t taint the way Spokane looks and feels. We are a part of the surroundings that we appreciate every day, and I want others to see us in a positive light”. These often are people who hold complicated and difficult stories, but the beautiful thing about living in a place with people from a variety of backgrounds is that we can learn from each other’s experiences as we all share life together.

As you look around the Spokane that you know, what things do you hope will stay the same? What do you hope will change? Something that I would really love to see in our community is for us all to get to know people who may experience Spokane in a different way. As our city grows, it would be a beautiful thing if we grew as a united community. Maybe you could volunteer for Crosswalk or Global Neighborhood and get to know some of the people who shared their perspective in the showcase. I know one way I hope to enhance my overall knowledge and perspective of Spokane is by building relationships with people who may hold a different perspective. There is so much growth to be had individually and in our city if we truly engage with each other.