From the Editors: May 2023
May, the month of many months
May has the distinction of being a month standing in observation of many "months." May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month. It is Historic Preservation Month. It is Mental Health Awareness Month. And, although not covered within these pages, May also happens to be International Masturbation Month AND Zombie Awareness Month, but we'll just fall back on yet another designation of May: National Smile Month and give those last two our best awkward grins and move on.
April showers not only bring May's long-awaited flowers with the true burgeoning of spring, they also bring May's yard signs, as we'll ALL be voting in the Primary elections on May 16 (ahem). Within this issue you'll find May covered en masse (minus the self-gratification and undead, of course): Ben Speggen takes a lighthearted look at the candidates running for City Council, while Liz Allen reports on her attendance at the 77th annual Pennsylvania Youth and Government Model Convention in Harrisburg. Jonathan Burdick takes a look at the history of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and how to support and celebrate Asian culture here in Erie. Both Charles Brown and Dan Schank take a look at mental health: the abatement of seasonal depression and addiction and harm reduction strategies, respectively.
May also marks the month in which we celebrate the art of the comic book, with Free Comic Book Day traditionally happening on the first Saturday of May for the past 22 years. And, related to that, our impressive cover art this month! It was created by graphic novelist Brenna Thummler, who is a recent transplant to Erie, and boy are we glad she's here. Learn more about her, what she's up to, her published books, and what's to come (hint: it's some very cool stuff) within.
And, as always, here at the Reader in May, we're excited to bring you our Summer Events Preview. While spring may come as a relief to many after our long, gray winters, it really is summertime when our gem of a city shimmers. We've got live music galore, art festivals, nature and educational programs, physical challenges, food and drink festivals, heritage fests, and county fairs.
May may be many things, but it feels most like a brink, a shift, a precipice we're all standing on waiting for the enveloping warmth of summer in Erie to truly begin. We're definitely ready.