Dreams, Hopes, Wishes Welcomed On Chalkboard In Midtown

(Memphis) A wall-size chalkboard nailed to the side of an old Midtown building is quickly filling up with the hopes and dreams of people who pass by.

“Before I Die” is an international project, started two years ago with chalkboards in more than 40 countries.

Bucket list goals are squeezed into the tiniest spaces.

Memphis artist Christina Miller partnered with the Urban Art Commission to get the board here.

It’s on a vacant building at 1605 Monroe on the southeast corner of Avalon and Monroe. Little baskets hold colorful chalk.

No profanity, or commission executive director Christina Lanzl says you’ll get erased.

“The goal with something temporary like this is to create documentation so it lives on in the hearts and the memories of the people who participated on it,” Lanzl says

The goals on the board range from fun, like “See the Northern lights” and “cut the ribbon to a skate board park, to heartfelt: “Meet my natural parents” or “own my own home.”

“And so the wonderful thing about this project is the layering everybody can come and contribute their stories, their thoughts their inspirations their fears perhaps, the sky’s the limit ultimately,” she says.

“Before I die, I want to marry my soul mate,” says William Johnson.

“I’ll be the first black Marilyn Monroe,” says Lisa Raye Mull. “That’s what I’d like to do before I die.”

The message of the wall is simple: get busy now…or die dreaming.

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