All Together Now! is a queer animated kid's show. It's about a community of people with different gender identities, body types, abilities, family structures, and cultural backgrounds. They are facing life’s challenges together by sharing their stories with each other, and building a world that celebrates inclusivity, accessibility, and kindness.
As a queer, gender non-conforming person, I realize that being a kid could have been 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 artistic 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 ages and backgrounds together.
In a time where so many vulnerable communities of people are under attack, we need to create safe spaces that help foster connection through our differences. All Together Now! will give children an inclusive lens to see a wide range of characters openly living their truths.
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.
The characters of All Together Now! learn important things like:
how to listen to each other
express feelings in healthy ways
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 community.
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?
The main character on the show is Frankie: a 10-year old gender non-conforming kid. Frankie likes skateboarding, making costumes, dancing, and playing the drums in an activist marching band. They live in an urban neighborhood called Sun City with their Grandma, who works at a hardware store, and shows Frankie how to build lots of cool stuff, including their own skateboard. Frankie is at an age where big questions around their identity and body are coming up, and the show gives us a great opportunity to navigate those issues with them. Frankie’s best friend is Jesse, who loves singing, riding his bike, and drawing cartoons that he turns into amazing zines.
DIY (Do It Yourself)
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, my artistic style has always been, and always will be, a nostalgic homage to the bright, colorful palettes that I grew up with. All Together Now! will be made with hand-drawn animation, using the textures of watercolor, colored pencil, markers and crayons for a handmade, personal feel. The show's aesthetic will help capture the exciting spirit and joy of creating things, inviting viewers of all ages to take out their markers and spontaneously draw inventive worlds in their notebooks like I did when I was a kid (and still do!)
My ultimate goal is to find a supportive home for this project to grow and develop into a TV series to reach larger audiences of kids and their families, expanding the reach of inclusive queer media.
Frankie is a gender non-conforming ten year old kid, who uses the pronoun "they." They live in an apartment in Sun City with their Grandma, who runs the local hardware store. Frankie loves skateboarding, making costumes, drawing comics, and playing the drums in their neighborhood brass band.
They make lots of costumes out of cardboard: giant cats, monster tacos, and unicorns. Frankie makes up songs about who they are in their costumes, in a world of make-believe.
Frankie also draws comics about an imaginary planet called "Z," where people can shapeshift between being different genders whenever they want. People on Planet Z can also time travel to other dimensions, like a dimension where everything is made of pizza, a dimension where everything goes backwards, etc. Sometimes we see little scenes of things happening Planet Z pop up in the show.
Frankie’s best friend is Jesse. Frankie and Jesse can often be found going on adventures in their neighborhood together. Jesse likes dancing, riding his bike, making zines with Frankie, dressing up, and playing the baritone horn in Brass Revolution.
Jesse lives down the street from Frankie with his two dads, Eli and Marcus. Jesse likes to wear jewelry, skirts, nail polish, and sometimes makeup.
Grandma Dolores started Lilac Community Hardware in Sun City 25 years ago. She turned the back room into a workshop where she teaches people how to build stuff. People of all ages come in during open hours, and Dolores helps them with their projects. The community donates materials that would otherwise be thrown away; wood, tubes, cardboard, fabrics, etc. Most of the projects are made from recycled materials.
Grandma also takes salsa dance classes at the community center.
Sometimes Frankie and Grandma improvise music together; Grandma plays the acoustic guitar, while Frankie plays the bongos, and they make up lyrics.
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 an 18 year old high school student. She volunteers after school twice a week at the collective bookstore, and organizes an all-ages monthly story circle where people share stories from their lives, based on a different theme each month.
Frankie and Jesse learned how to make zines from Janice. She has a mobile pop-up library that she brings around town on her bike.
Lily is a trans elder woman. She started the Sun City Community Garden 30 years ago, where people to grow vegetables and have gatherings. Lily is often in the garden, and teaches Frankie and Jesse how to grow vegetables. She shares stories stories from her life with them, and talks about self-love. At some point, she might become the mayor.
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.
Glitter N’ Letters is a volunteer-supported and collectively-owned bookstore. It hosts community events, including a story circle called, “Tell Us About It!” where people come and share stories from their lives based on a different theme each month. There are also zine making workshops, screen printing workshops, and patch n’ pin making workshops. Frankie and Jesse love going there and checking out the zines, graphic novels, and comics. They also love going to/participating in the story circle.
Gear Head Bike Collective
Gear Head is the collective bike shop in Sun City, where people come to share knowledge and experiences around bikes. Everyone who works there loves coming up with inventive ways to make stuff up out of bike parts, including bicycle powered kitchen appliances, etc. At the bike shop, people donate old bikes, which get fixed up and used for many things, including a meals on wheels program where people from the community center make food in the kitchen that gets delivered to people in their houses who are hungry and need support. Cool bikes and vehicles are made there for puppets, parades, and celebrations. They are always coming up with inventive bicycle-related projects there, and it gets the whole community involved, especially kids. Jesse made his super cool bike there from scratch.
The Tune Room
The Tune Room is a music space in Sun City, founded and run by Carl. It is where the Brass Revolution Marching Band has its rehearsals, and where kids can come in to work on writing, producing, and recording their own songs. There are a variety of donated and handmade instruments there that kids can play and experiment with. Carl is passionate about helping kids express their feelings through music. There are also all-ages concerts at The Tune Room--where kids and adults in bands can perform. Frankie and Jesse write songs at the Tune Room about their feelings, which sometimes become short musical interludes on the show.
Sun City Community Garden
The Sun City Community Garden was founded by trans elder/witch Lily Wildflower 30 years ago, in an empty abandoned lot. I’s now filled with flowers, plants, vegetables, trees, and art made out of recycled materials. It is a colorful haven in the city, where lots of people come and grow their own food. Lily has classes in the garden where she teaches kids how to grow things. Sometimes there is music and performances in the garden, or community potlucks and poetry readings. Colorful murals surround the garden. There is a chess table. There are garden fairy homes. There is a compost pile. There are medicinal herbs growing. There are cool bugs and bees.
Lilac Community Hardware
Lilac Community Hardware has been in Sun City for 25 years. It was opened by Dolores, Frankie’s Grandma. Dolores turned the back space into a workshop/makerspace for people to come and build stuff. Dolores teaches people of all ages how to use tools and build things, mostly out of recycled materials that people from the community donate to the workshop. Projects that have been made in the workshop include giant puppets, go carts, catapults, pinball machines, and marble runs. Dolores helps Frankie build their own skateboard in the workshop.
The Pink Tiger Cafe
The Pink Tiger is an important gathering space for the community of Sun City. It employs homeless people, at risk youth, and formerly incarcerated people. It also has has an after school program where kids learn how to cook their own yummy food. The Pink Tiger Cafe also hosts monthly community dinners at potlucks, Eli, Jesse’s Dad and the founder of The Pink Tiger Cafe, is passionate about food justice. He helps organize a weekly Food Not Bombs meal service in front of the cafe, where homeless people can come and eat a free vegetarian meal. There’s also a “Really Free Market” that happens in front of the cafe on Saturdays, where people bring stuff they don’t want anymore, and other people can have it for free. Jesse and Frankie often hang outat The Pink Tiger, and help Eli come up with cool new recipes in the kitchen.
KSUN is Sun City’s local community public radio station. We are often dialed into DJ Rebel Grrl’s show, which is always playing a great mix of music, including local bands, of both kids and adults. Sometimes the bands come in and play live on DJ Rebel Grrl’s show.