Before I die … an interactive art installation

John and I recently spent a day in Woodstock, that small New York state town best known for the music festival that shares its name.

As we wrapped up brunch at the lovely Oriole9, we saw this huge chalkboard in their entry way:

Outside Oriole9 in Woodstock, this chalkboard asks what you want to do before you die.

It called to mind Jennifer Worick’s recent Blogversation question: What is the one thing in life that you still most want to do?

When I read the explanation, that the idea originated in New Orleans, I remembered reading about this interactive art project done on the side of an abandoned house.

By the next day the wall was entirely filled out and it kept growing. Before I die I want to… sing for millions, see my daughter graduate, straddle the International Date Line, see the leaves change many times, be someone’s cavalry, live off the grid, help numerous children, hold her one more time, abandon all insecurities, be completely myself…  People’s hopes and dreams made her laugh out loud, tear up, and feel consolation during her own tough times. The wall transformed a neglected space into a constructive one where we can restore perspective, remember we are not alone, and understand our neighbors in new and enlightening ways. The Atlantic called it “one of the most creative community projects ever, and the project was featured on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.

The Before I Die project originated in New Orleans on the side of a house.




“Death can inspire life. Especially in New Orleans, on the corner of Marigny and Burgundy, where the Before I Die project has used the specter of urban decay and death to create art and inspire. Using a boarded up house as a canvas, artist Candy Chang transformed a haunting reminder of blight and divestment into a powerful affirmation of human life and imagination.” – Life and Times


Categories: creativity, home and family

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1 reply


  1. When 23 seconds might be all that separated life from death | Newvine Growing -- exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally

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