Giant Chalkboard Asks People Downtown "Why do you love Racine?"
A surprise addition comes to Main Street this week: a thirty-foot-wide chalkboard posing a question to the community...
"Why do you love Racine?"
It's received a lot of interest in the past 24 hours. One project leader said it was a decision that was made quickly with approval from the owner of the building. People have been coming up and sharing their feelings ever since it was put up on Monday.
Dustan Balkcom is one of the main people behind this project - which is independent of any government group. His personal goal is to get people to appreciate (or at least think about) what their hometown has to offer.
"This actually started, I was just driving down the street one day and I saw this structure and I thought 'Man that would be a really great spot for kind of a public art project' cause it's not going to be there forever," Balkcom said.
"We put dropcloths down. It was raining. Then we got a break in the weather and just went crazy," Balkcom said.
"I've had a lot of really bad ideas in my life and I'm happy to see that one is working here," Balkcom said.
So far more than 100 people have shared they're feelings of love for Racine. The beach, local business, and specific family traditions are a few examples of 'Why people love Racine'.
But Balkcom says he hopes to do more projects in the future. He concedes that Racine does have issues but he feels it's important to stay positive.
"You know we get negative responses too. And those aren't all bad. It's helpful to know the things you've got to work on in your city," Balkcom said.
"So 'Ask me why I Love Racine' is not just a bunch of cheerleaders saying 'We love the city' and we go home. People that are involved in this are those picking up trash on the weekends. They're those going to the beach and cleaning up. These are people that actually care about the city and are actually doing things about it," Balkcom said.
This group also makes t-shirts and bumper stickers asking the same question. Balkcom said that is how they paid for the paint and supplies for the chalkboard project.