Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 30, 2012.

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We'd like to bring the interactive public art project called "Before I Die" to Yankton, SD, but we NEED YOUR HELP!

Have you ever been asked to participate in a public art project? Allow us to answer that question for you. YES, you have! We are asking you to participate in one right now!

We want to bring the interactive public art project "Before I Die" to Yankton and we need your help. "Before I Die" has become a global phenomenon, and if we can raise the $2500 we need to buy the materials to build it, then Yankton can become the first town in South Dakota - and perhaps the smallest town in the WORLD - to share its collective hopes and dreams with the global community!

"Before I Die" is a giant chalkboard that will invite people of different ages and from different walks of life to answer the question: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE? It's a question that some people may have spent considerable time thinking about, while others may not have thought about much at all. Maybe you want to write a novel. Maybe someone else would like to swim with dolphins? Pick up a piece of chalk and share! We feel strongly that this will be meaningful to our community, just as it has been in other communities where the blackboards have been - and continue to be - built.

The "Before I Die" project isn't our original idea, but it's one that artist Candy Chang has invited us to borrow. "Before I Die" originated in post-Katrina New Orleans and it's become a global art project. You can read more about it at their website, www.beforeidie.cc. 

Or watch Brian Williams of MSNBC talk about it here: 

Our plan is to build the 32' long chalkboard at the north end of the Meridian Bridge's lower level. <The City of Yankton said we could! Aren't they GREAT?> We're really pleased that we found a spot that lots of people are going to see, but that doesn't block the best Missouri River views. In fact, it helps screen the views of the adjacent water treatment plant! 

Rendering of proposed wall location.
Rendering of proposed wall location.

Our goal is to have the wall installed in early August, where it will remain for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 60 days. Once it's been built, we'll provide some colorful chalk and then invite the public to start adding their responses.

We'll document the wall extensively, not only so we can share highlights of our project online, but also to help record this time in Yankton's history. We're planning to clean the wall each morning as needed so that every day it's ready for another round of responses. If it's messy after a heavy rain <ha!> or if it becomes illegible for any other reason, we'll clean it then, too. 

As installations in other cities have shown, the "Before I Die" responses range from thought-provoking to silly. We expect that the vast majority of people will respect the goals of the project and treat the wall as something that belongs to and enriches the community. The fact that everyone is invited to participate is what will help make the wall worth visiting again and again. Our jobs will be to help facilitate the use of the wall. Sometimes that might involve removing things that are not in keeping with the spirit of the project. We expect that, as part of the public art process, and we won't try to prevent other participants from helping us out.

We do need some financial assistance, and we're using Kickstarter to raise funds because Kickstarter is about PEOPLE helping PEOPLE fund creative, inspiring projects. And we want this project to inspire!

The project is relatively low-cost, and we will be doing the labor ourselves with some help from the City. But we do need to buy some fun stuff to get things rolling! <Stencils, rollers, primer, paint, plywood, screws, 10' long posts, etc.> We hope that you'll help us out! Check out our rewards over on the right and please know that we're thankful for whatever you can do to help us reach our goal.

You can get "Art is for ... EVERYONE" temporary tattoos!
You can get "Art is for ... EVERYONE" temporary tattoos!

We have until July 30th to reach our $2500 goal. If we can exceed that goal - knock it out of the park, even - then when this project is over, we will have a head start on bringing a second round of interactive public art to Yankton. We're already brainstorming ideas! So if this type of community project excites you, then please help us! Knowing that there are people out there who want more of "this" will help to keep us energized!

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about our project and thank you for your consideration! We're really excited about bringing this project to Yankton!

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    You are making a difference! You'll get a 'Thank You' note from Sarah & Amy! <Who are Sarah and Amy? Art enthusiasts, for one! Sarah is a Yankton architect and urban designer, Amy is a film-maker and the Executive Director of Yankton Area Arts>

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    4 backers

    You'll get the previous reward PLUS a personal invitation to the kick-off event, for an opportunity to be among the first people to write on the wall!

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    10 backers

    You'll get the Thank You note and the invite, PLUS you'll be thanked several times on our websites and facebook pages! <unless you choose to remain anonymous>

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    5 backers Limited (15 left of 20)

    You'll get all previous rewards plus ONE DOZEN "Art is for EVERYONE" temporary tattoos to wear and share!

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    7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)

    You'll get the previous rewards PLUS we will paint the "Before I Die" stencil on any surface you like! (You know, as long as you have permission.) We'll even throw in a jumbo piece of sidewalk chalk!

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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    You'll get all previous rewards PLUS VIP status at a "Before I Die" kick-off event, special mention in press releases, PLUS you'll get a DVD that will document the story of the Yankton "Before I Die" wall.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You'll get all previous rewards PLUS you and 3 guests will get to have a special picnic dinner with the organizers, catered by Chef Staci Stengle of Yankton Hy-Vee.

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Funding period

- (18 days)