Paint the Town Yellow

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Jessie Kessler

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On Tuesday, March 12th and Tuesday, March 15th, Madison High School students went into town to paint yellow designs on the windows of businesses in support of Day of Optimism. Madison is participating in “Paint the Town Yellow” which is a campaign to raise awareness for depression and suicide prevention. The purpose and catchphrase of the “Paint the Town Yellow” campaign are to turn “optimism into action.”

Madison High School students, 3rd graders from St. Vincent Martyr School, girl scouts, senior citizens, and families from St. Vincent Martyr Church and the Presbyterian Church of Madison are turning their Optimism into Action by participating in “Pollination.” This project is a collaborative public artwork guided by artist and optimist, G. Riley Johndonnell. Participants will be creating a community garden of 100+ flowers hand painted on 10-inch round yellow disks (materials donated by Jaeger Lumber and cut by MHS’s own, Martin Fennel). On the back of the rounds, participants will be writing their ideas for how to brighten Madison and how to lead a happier community. These optimistic ideas will be shared with the mayor’s office as the garden “pollinates” the front lawn of the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, on May Day (May 4th).

Town officials encourage all participating businesses and organizations to take part by “adopting” an optimism-inspired artwork. Day of Optimism, the yellow artwork, and ribbons around town, the “Pollination” project, and other up-and-coming programs are in preparation for National Mental Health Awareness Month (May). In today’s climate, individuals and groups find it critical to shine a light on the stigma around mental health and inspire community connection through collaboration and creativity.

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