Look down: there's a message here about who we are

People in communities across the nation have lately been looking down for inspiration. At their neighborhood sidewalks. Sidewalk chalk has become a way to express ourselves, with colorful drawings, messages of hope, and even messages of defiance against the new coronavirus.

“Keep looking up…that’s the secret of life,” said the great sage of our times, Snoopy.

But people in communities across the nation have lately been looking down for inspiration. At their neighborhood sidewalks.

Sidewalk chalk art

With play dates out and happy hours forbidden, the neighborhood stroll has risen in importance as a way to connect socially and get some fresh air – while still keeping a safe distance. Sidewalk chalk has become a way to express ourselves, with colorful drawings, messages of hope, and even messages of defiance against the new coronavirus.

In Mountain View, California, more than 50 families took to the sidewalks recently to create a community art museum in chalk.

"The idea was this would be something that would brighten everyone's day and it would bring us together as a community, even though we can't physically be together," said resident Daphne Sashin in a CNN interview.

One work of art depicted Van Gogh’s starry night.

Another shared this message with passersby: “Social distance doesn’t mean we aren’t together.”

In Minneapolis, flowers may not be budding yet, but there are bright spots of beauty everywhere you look, happening square by square and home by home.

Sidewalk chalk art

Children who would normally be attending Burroughs Community School in Southwest Minneapolis are being encouraged to create new themed works of sidewalk chalk art every few days. This way, people who live near the school will have a vital, ever-changing art experience. And a way to be united.

Who would have thought sticks of chalk could say so much about who we are and what we value?

In this age of the new coronavirus, a little beauty cannot hurt. In fact, it can heal. 

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