Sidewalk Chalk is Uplifting Communities In Crisis

And it’s delivering an important message to artists.

Photo by Sam Haddad on Unsplash

Have you chalked your walk?

With everyone stuck at home due to coronavirus, people have been drawing uplifting art on the sidewalks and driveways in their communities as a form of moral support and togetherness.

You can find plenty of pictures of this movement on social media under #ChalkYourWalk or #ChalkTheWalk. (I’ve also strategically sprinkled some throughout this story for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.)

A teacher in Cincinnati even went so far as to leave unexpected chalk drawings for all 23 of her students. I’m not sure if that’s adorable or just plain creepy, but hey, it’s a thing that happened in the year of our lord 2020.

All of this wanton cheer spreading is causing people to realize something few artists believe themselves: not only does your work matter, but the world needs your art. Now more than ever.

People like us do things like this

Pretty much nobody goes into art to make massive piles of money. Nobody. They usually have other reasons, like:

  1. Making art reduces their stress and anxiety
  2. Telling their stories helps them work through complex issues
  3. Making beautiful things makes the world a better place

It’s not surprising the creation of art makes people feel good. After all, images can capture emotion far better than words alone. (That’s why “a picture is worth a thousand words” has resonated with us for over 100 years.) The artist feels good when they capture the emotion in their work, and the viewer feels good when they take it in.

These chalk drawings are no different.

Lengthy stay-at-home orders may have our streets empty and abandoned, but these chalk drawings shine as beacons of hope, celebrating how connected we are, even if we’re not able to be together physically. Now, when people go outside for a walk, they’re not alone. Someone else has been there, and they’ve left a message behind:

We’re all human, we all care. So this is what we do. This is how we show each other we still matter when we have no other way. We want you to be there when we come out on the other side. Please, don’t die. Stay home and stay safe.

It’s a powerful message delivered through chalk scribbled on the pavement.

The whole world is waiting for you

If you’re an artist and you’re paying attention right now, you should be learning one thing: a simple message said creatively is powerful enough to light the darkest night. This is your moment. Are you ready to believe?

You should be.

If you haven’t noticed, everyone is welcome to participate in this sidewalk chalk movement. There are literal children, full-grown adults, weirdo artists, and actual normal people all coming together for the greater good.

But before you can believe your art is capable of the same type of impact theirs is having, you must first abandon the belief you aren’t good enough to share it. The truth is, you are good enough. You always have been.

For as long as you’ve been worried about whether we’ll accept you, we’ve been desperately waiting for you to share your message with us. So please, please believe what we’re saying when we tell you:

Your work matters. The world needs your art. Now more than ever.

Artist and blogger. I help people bring more art into the world:

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