before i die – kansas city

A few weeks ago, I was checking out Museum Unbound and stumbled across Ashley’s post on the Before I Die project created by artist Candy Chang. Call it street or participatory or engagement or whatever the latest label is, but I’m all for art that invites people in with a simple, accessible premise, namely to finish this statement: “Before I die, I want to_____.”


This project has been replicated in other cities and I immediately felt that it should happen in my home town, Kansas City, Missouri. We have a vibrant community with no shortage of ideas, opinions, beliefs and dreams plus plenty of large facades that could use some repurposing. Not to mention we could hit up local biz Hallmark for chalk donations!

But like most good ideas (The Snuggie, for instance), somebody else beat me to it. Leslie Lerner and Marion Merritt, self-proclaimed “Thunderbirds of Culture” and proud proprietors of the Box Building located in the Crossroads Arts District are currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund Before I Die in the Paris of the Plains, with larger plans to use the project as a springboard to transforming the Box Building into an community-based artistic hub. With a June 7 funding deadline approaching, the project is over halfway to its $1,500 goal and could use a bit more help.

*enter generous backers like you.*

Finding Ashley’s post and Leslie and Marion’s campaign on the same day is a lovely bit of serendipity. I’m willing to do what I can to make sure this happens, including shamelessly plugging it on my blog.

Are you still reading? Go back Before I Die Kansas City before time runs out. 🙂

UPDATE: The project is successfully funded! Thanks to everyone for their support!

4 thoughts on “before i die – kansas city

  1. Adrianne, I actually wrote on the “Before I Die” in New Orleans and thought it was the coolest street art I’d seen in a long time. It wasn’t until a whole year later in one of my museum studies classes where we were talking about participatory elements in museums that I realized it wasn’t just a NOLA thing. Glad to see that it’s making the rounds and exciting so many people!


  2. Adrianne,
    Thank you so much for the post. Every little bit helps. When you first wrote to us, I had added your name and a link to your site on our Wall O Thanks. We will keep everyone up to date for the fun, fun installation party!


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