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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA Bucket List

    Lili Steffen
    Lili Steffen / The Daily Wildcat A chalkboard set up near CVS on University Boulevard invites passersby to complete the sentence “Before I die…” on Friday.

    In an effort to find out what’s on students’ bucket lists, a UA art class studying contemporary studio art created an interactive public art installation on University Boulevard last week.

    “Before I Die” is a chalkboard that encourages passersby to contribute by writing out something from their bucket lists.

    Allie Crist, a dance junior and member of the class that created the piece, said the project took only three days to put together. The class worked together to build, paint and install the structure, which is located outside of CVS.

    The “Before I Die” project was started by New Orleans native Candy Chang after she lost a loved one. She created the first “Before I Die” board in her neighborhood, and the project soon became an international movement.

    The project has come to Tucson once or twice before, Crist said, but never on the same scale as the current one. She added that the project is a great way for people to remember how to share their feelings with one another.

    “I think sometimes we all kind of get in our own heads and forget how to connect with one another,” Crist said. “The premise of the project is so simple, but it can say a lot about sharing with one another. Complete strangers have written on that, and reading their words, I get something out of it.”

    Some of the goals written on the board include opening an animal sanctuary, saving a life and having a white Christmas.

    Whether it’s deeply personal or something more generic, Crist said, each dream is something people can to relate to.

    “It’s such a public forum for sharing our individual hopes and dreams that might be really personal to us,” Crist said. “It just makes you realize that you’re not the only one that has these big aspirations.”

    The project is creating conversation on University Boulevard. Onlookers Heather Espinoza and Carlos Flores said the board got them thinking about what would be on their bucket lists.

    “I want to go to Hawaii,” Espinoza said.

    The idea of traveling was popular.

    “I want to travel, like go to Paris,” Flores added, “but that’s all I’ve come up with so far. I haven’t really thought about it.”

    The “Before I Die” project is a good way to get people thinking about what they want to do with their lives, said Mari McCarthy, an engineering freshman.

    “Before I die, I want to give my parents a reason to be proud of me,” McCarthy said.

    Marissa Skwierczynski, a biology freshman, said that her “Before I Die” goal is to be a part of the fight against cancer.
    “I want to be a cancer biologist, so just contribute to a cure for cancer,” Skwierczynski said.

    The board, which is covered in chalkboard paint, is constantly changing, Crist said.

    Crist added some of the funnier dreams she’s seen on the board have been to make out with Justin Bieber and visit the Playboy Mansion — but there have also been some deeper responses.

    “Somebody had written, ‘Before I die I want to make her the happiest woman in the world,’” Crist said. “And then several lines down somebody wrote ‘meet you’ after it and drew an arrow up to the first one.”

    Crist said the dream she wrote on the board was to meet Lady Gaga, as she hopes to be a backup dancer for the pop star someday, but she has other goals too.

    “Before I die I want to figure out what it means to be a grown-up,” Crist said. “I feel like I’ll still be a child even when I’m a grandmother.”

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