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March 21, 2012

Before I die

Detail of 'Before I Die'...is a wonderful public art project from the brilliant mind of Candy Chang, an artist I discovered today via the serendipity of the Internet.

Not ever sure what got me to her site, but I'm blown away by her inventive ways of involving people in the life of their neighborhoods.

Before I die is a low-tech chalkboard made of sheets of plywood fastened to the wall of an abandoned house. Stenciled on it over and over is the phrase "Before I die I want to __________________"

Containers of chalk are provided, and people passing by write their hopes and dreams. Scrawled or neatly printed are messages like Before I die I want to… sing for millions, see my daughter graduate, eat a salad with an alien, straddle the International Date Line, see the leaves change many times, be someone’s cavalry, cook a souffle, hold her one more time.

The idea is so simple and so compelling that versions have been created in cities around the world. Chang and her colleagues have created a Before I Die Toolkit for anyone who wants to make their own.

I think we should do this in Cleveland. Anyone want to help?

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