What’s your Moonshot?
Header Image: Lauren Asta (left) and Shawn Smith (right) pose with their completed “Moonshot Murals” painted by Adler guests during Moon Bash on July 20, 2019
Brushes were poised and the smell of spray paint began to permeate the air. The sound of the small metal ball inside the aerosol can rattled around as the artist contemplated her next mark.
The artist in this case was a 65-year-old woman named Rita who hadn’t painted in decades. She was one of the 25 people who joined us that night at the Humboldt Park Library—our first stop of seven during our “Chicago Moonshot Mural Project” earlier this summer.
As the senior director of marketing at the Adler, I am involved in a lot of unique projects, but few have brought me as much joy and fulfillment as this project that we did leading up to the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the Moon.
In celebration of the feat of Apollo 11 and the hundreds of thousands of people it took to achieve the country’s “Moonshot”—something thought to be impossible, but that can, with teamwork and determination, be realized—we declared a Moonshot of our own: What if we partnered with local street artists to help Chicago neighborhoods visualize their own Moonshots for the future?
So that’s just what we did.
Thirteen street artists, six Chicago Public Library events, one Adler Moon Bash, and more than 200 participants contributed to each community’s “Moonshot Mural”—a 60×40 line art canvas drawn by a prominent Chicago street artist and painted by neighborhood residents.
The end result was nothing short of magical. West Englewood residents made their mark on “Safer streets” by Anthony Lewellen (aka @antckone) and “More education, earning diplomas, and degrees,” by Don’t Fret Art. With help from artist Matthew Mederer, the residents of Lincoln Square dreamt of more public art and a spotlight on the area’s history.
While only a couple hundred people contributed to our neighborhood Moonshots, they looked just like the hundreds of thousands of people who put Neil Armstrong on the Moon 50 years ago. Residents of all ages and abilities, families and individuals, artists and non-artists alike came together; It was a beautiful gathering of humanity at every location.
To the residents of the participating communities, thank you. Thank you for celebrating this milestone in history with us and believing in the power of possibility and teamwork. And thank you to Rita. The childlike grin that spread across your face as you left your mark on “Your personal Moonshot” by Keith Smith (aka @afrokilla) and the hug that you gave me as you left our event that night were definitely highlights in my Adler career.