Take a second to think about this: What would President Trump say, and to whom, that would make you happy?
Greg Lundgren, a Seattle artist and co-owner of The Hideout bar on First Hill, wants you to write it out and submit it to a creative writing competition. The prize? $1,000 donated to your favorite nonprofit. The deadline? Feb. 20: Presidents Day.
“Maybe it’s a stretch, but I was curious what DJT could possibly say that would make a person smile,” Greg wrote via email. “For conservatives, maybe that is an easier task. For liberals, it is a real challenge.”
The Hideout is a dimly lit but vibrant bar on First Hill that opened as a kind of temporary art installation 12 years ago. Walk in tonight and you’ll find — along with the cocktails — walls covered in art, a vending machine of creative curiosities, and issues of a zine stuffed with sketches from people who stop in.
“Just as Seattle is a sanctuary city, we’ve always considered the Hideout a sanctuary space,” Greg wrote. “It is centered around art and community, about being kind, about self expression and diversity.”
People all over the city have been waking up to their civic roles in the wake of the election. The Hideout is no different. Greg wants to claim his bar as a harbor for marginalized communities, both by hosting fundraising events for like-minded nonprofits and by creating a public space for people to “meet and talk and hatch their own plans.”
“Bars have a long history with being the birthplace of resistance and political discussion,” Greg wrote.
As for the letter-writing contest, Greg hopes it helps people think about what they want from the president, “as outlandish as that might be.”
Want to win? Think creatively about whom you’d write Trump’s letter to and think through the outcome before you settle on your story, Greg wrote.
“Don’t be afraid of near impossible scenarios,” he wrote. “That is the world we are inhabiting right now.”
See an example letter from Trump below. Want to write your own Letter from the President? See the full rules for the contest — hosted by The Hideout and The Goodship Company — on Facebook.