Earlier this fall, my husband showed me a youtube video about an artist named Candy Chang who created a public space chalkboard on an old abandoned building in her hometown of New Orleans. She stenciled on black chalkboard paint, the words “Before I die, I want to________.” She made the wall after losing a person in her life who was like a mother to her. The video and message of the wall hit close to home since I lost my own mother only a couple of years ago. Below is the link to the original video.
After watching the video, I told my husband that it would be great if our small town of 360 people could have its own wall so the community could share its own hopes and dreams. Since that first wall in New Orleans, 400 walls have been created in over 60 countries and in 25 languages so why not Cambridge, Idaho. My English teacher husband had his students watch the video to see what they thought about it. The kids had been researching, writing about, and getting to know their own community and were super stoked after seeing it and wanted to make a wall.
A couple of kids wrote a proposal to give to potential sponsors and went around to find donors to help purchase the wood, paint, and stencil kit. They found a good location for the wall and asked a local business that had an empty store front window for permission to hang the wall over the glass. Once everything was in place the kids volunteered after-school a couple days and made the board. Here are the video and photos about making Idaho’s first “Before I Die” wall.