SHEBOYGAN – Local student Maddie Green is set to embark on a “whale of a project” during her junior year with the 2018-19 Innovator Fellowship Program, a collaboration between North High School and Jake’s Café Creative Community. Green is set to unveil “The Happiness Project”, an initiative designed to address serious stressors that affect community youth, with a massive inspired mural to be painted on the north wall of Above & Beyond Children’s Museum in downtown Sheboygan.
A special event to launch the mural project is set for Tuesday, May 7 at 4pm at Above & Beyond Children’s Museum. Open to the public.
“Happiness is a lifestyle. It is a community. It is the inner foundation of all human kind. The contagious effect of a simple smile is the drive of The Happiness Project. I want people to experience this blissful state and uncover their inner light which can sometimes be hidden by clouds,” said Green. “
Together as a community, we can make this happen and help individuals find the beauty, light and happiness within themselves and our city. This mural is sure to elicit happiness.”
The Innovator Fellowship Program process began last Fall that initiated with weeks of brainstorming, research and collaboration with local community members and organizations including Mental Health America of Sheboygan, local artist Jessica Rassel, Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, The Sheboygan Area School District, and Jake’s Café Creative Community president Tryg Jacobson.
“This mural will arouse and capture the attention of Sheboygan County residents and thousands of visitors. More importantly, it will challenge them to think bigger, deeper and wider in their pursuit of making the world a better, happier place,” said Jacobson. “This Happiness Project mural promotes the joy of love and companionship such as that found in the world’s largest and most beloved mammals.”
The mural will be painted by Rassel on the expansive exterior wall of Above & Beyond Children’s Museum this summer. Initially the team envisioned a small mural but after encouragement to “think bigger” they agreed to utilize the entire east section of the north-facing wall of the museum incorporating the existing protruding boat.
“Maddie’s project may even inspire and ignite a downtown renaissance equal to all of wonderful things already happening around the downtown’s perimeter,” said Jacobson. “Kudos to Maddie for her grand vision for happiness. She’s not only helping us revitalize the landscape of our downtown entrance our most popular downtown children’s venue, she’s also inspiring a renaissance of happier hearts. She understands and celebrates the power of meditation, play and beauty as therapy which this mural will elicit.”
To fund project expenses Green is reaching out to the community for support to collect donations to meet the projected project budget of $50,000.
The Efroymson Family, which has funded many projects at the Museum including the exterior boat, has offered to match dollar-for-dollar all contributions to The Happiness Project up to $25,000. Additional funders include Dave & Sandy Sachse, The Terry Kohler Family Foundation and additional anonymous donors.
Donations are currently being accepted from interested donors. Contributions to The Happiness Project can be made at abkids.org, by calling (920) 458-4263, or mailed to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, Attn: The Happiness Project, 902 N. 8th Street, Sheboygan, WI 53081.
Above & Beyond Children’s Museum of Sheboygan County is a community funded, visitor supported nonprofit.