All Together Now! is an inclusive animated kid's show. It's about a community of people with different gender identities, body types, abilities, family structures, and cultural backgrounds. They learn through sharing their stories and skills with each other, and building a world that celebrates accessibility, and kindness.
Short video about “All Together Now!”:
As a queer, gender non-conforming person, I realize that being a kid could have been a lot easier if I’d been able to watch a children’s show that was entertaining, educational, and had characters living outside of a gender binary. This could’ve helped me a lot as I tried to figure out who I was.
My goal with All Together Now! is to cultivate hope and joy through greater representation in children’s media, so all kids feel proud of who they are, instead of ashamed or scared about what makes them different. I will build upon community-oriented shows like Sesame Street, and aesthetically vibrant shows like Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
The world of All Together Now! is a culmination of many things from my own life: teaching kids how to use tools and build projects out of recycled materials, making puppet shows, playing the drums in an activist marching band, and being a queer person living in community.
I am passionate about engaging young people's creative voices and visions, so they feel empowered to step up as change-makers, transforming themselves and the world around them.
Although I envision All Together Now first and foremost as a show for kids, it will ultimately be an all-ages show that children and adults can both enjoy for its storytelling, aesthetic and messages, bringing people of all backgrounds together.
In a time where many vulnerable communities of people are under attack, we need to create safe spaces that help foster connection through our differences. All Together Now! presents a world filled with diverse characters and situations that provide young viewers and their families opportunities to explore different ways of being, thinking and feeling.
I believe that we can create the world we want to live in, and learning how to live in community with each other is a crucial step to getting there.
Each episode of “All Together Now!” explores a different theme or topic, such as belonging, family, self love, listening, mobility, etc.
Whether it’s at the collective bookstore, the community garden, the bike shop, or the marching band practice space, the characters on All Together Now! gain a lot from each other’s experiences. They share skills and resources to create inspiring performances, songs, parades, and gatherings that uplift their entire community.
Main character Frankie, a gender non-conforming kid who uses the pronouns “they/them” and their friends explore themes through imaginative play, hands-on learning, and exchanging stories. This happens both in public neighborhood spaces, as well as Frankie’s room, where their fantastical inner world comes alive.
Sometimes, challenging conversations come up between characters who love and respect each other. How do different generations of people relate to gender, and how do they learn from each other’s experiences? Additionally, how do characters deal with being bullied because of how they dress, or what their families look like?
Learning how to make stuff is empowering and fun! Part of All Together Now! is centered around sharing skills and resources to make cool projects, mostly out of recycled materials. Characters teach each other how to sew costumes, write songs, build toys, cook yummy food, and perform shows in their neighborhood. Through making, they come together, share stories, and discover the power of their imaginations.
As a child of the 90s, I embrace bright, colorful palettes, and use watercolors, colored pencils, markers and crayons for a playful, handmade look. I strive to capture the joy of creating things spontaneously. My inspiration comes from children’s book illustrators like Shel Silverstein, Quentin Blake, and Bernard Waber, as well as artist Keith Haring.
While 2D animation is the foundation for the world of “All Together Now!”, short segments that use other mediums will also be part of the show, including puppetry, stop-motion animation, and live action. This variety not only reflects my artistic background, but provides fresh ways of exploring themes through different lenses. For example, Frankie’s inner world may be depicted using puppetry, or there may be a music video exploring a feeling that is made with claymation, or a story written by a child about a theme where her own drawings become animated. Using different mediums brings a queer perspective to the show by presenting a reality that is more fluid, and provides viewers with multiple ways of looking at an issue.
Using mixed media can also provide a platform to feature guest artists who are queer/trans/poc/women, opening up storytelling perspectives in exciting, innovative new ways.
Music is an integral part of “All Together Now!”. Each episode features a short music video where Frankie explores a feeling or theme.
Since there is a neighborhood brass band on the show (Brass Revolution), much of the background music is connected to jazz, funk, and songs that feature brass instruments. Brass Revolution also plays their own songs regularly on the show, usually at community gatherings.
Brass Revolution Marching Band
Frankie is a gender non-conforming kid, who uses the pronouns "they/them." Frankie loves skateboarding, making comic books, playing the drums, and using their fantastical imagination to bring the world around them to life.
Frankie lives in an apartment with their Grandma in an urban neighborhood called Sun City. Frankie’s Grandma owns a hardware store in town, and shows Frankie how to build lots of cool stuff, usually out of recycled materials that have been donated by people in the community.
Frankie is at an age where questions around their identity and body are coming up, and the audience navigates those issues with them. The viewer is given a window into Frankie’s inner world, where they are able to explore a variety of emotions.
Frankie’s cassette collection
Zines that Frankie & Jesse make together
Jesse, Frankie’s best friend
Frankie’s best friend is Jesse, who loves singing, drawing cartoons with Frankie, playing the baritone horn in Brass Revolution, and riding his bike around the neighborhood with Frankie to visit their friends.
Jesse lives across the street from Frankie with his two dads, Eli and Marcus. He likes to wear jewelry, skirts, nail polish, and sometimes makeup.
Frankie’s Grandma (Dolores) started Lilac Community Hardware in Sun City many years ago. She turned the back room into a workshop where she teaches people how to build things with tools. People of all ages come in during open hours, and Dolores helps them with their projects. People use wood, tubes, cardboard, fabrics, and other materials that would have otherwise been thrown away.
Grandma is an avid dancer, and loves going to the popular all-ages dance party in Sun City.
Eli (left) is is one of Jesse’s Dads. His partner Marcus is Jesse’s other Dad. Eli started the The Pink Tiger Cafe in Sun City, and hosts lots of community events there. He has an after school program where he teaches kids how to make food. He hosts monthly community potlucks too, and a Food Not Bombs program where people can come get a free meal to eat.
Janice is a high school student who volunteers at the collective bookstore, Glitter N’ Letters, and organizes a story circle there where people of all ages come and share stories from their lives, based on a different topic each month.
Janice also teaches Frankie and Jesse how to make their own zines. She has a mobile pop-up library that she bikes around town, so people can have free books to read. Janice is passionate about reading, learning, and DIY zine culture.
Lily is a trans elder woman. She started the Sun City Community Garden many years ago, where people come to grow a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Lily is often there, and teaches Frankie and Jesse all about growing things, as well as other aspects of the natural world. She shares stories stories from her life with them, and talks about the importance of self-love.
Sun City Community Garden
Carl runs a space in town called The Tune Room. Kids can come in to write, produce and record their own songs. Carl is also a member of Brass Revolution Marching Band. Both Frankie and Jesse go to The Tune Room and write songs about their feelings, which are periodically music videos on the show.
DJ Rebel Grrl plays the best music in town on her KSUN radio show, "Everybody’s Got A Little Light Under The Sun!" Frankie and Jesse developed their musical styles from listening to DJ Rebel Grrl's radio show. She also hosts and spins music at a monthly all-ages dance party which everyone in town loves to go to.