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'Before I Die': A public art 'bucket list'

Wednesday - 5/16/2012, 5:32pm  ET

Hector Gelabert, Jr., of Hyattsville writes his message on the board. (WTOP/John Aaron)
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John Aaron,

WASHINGTON - A new "interactive art" project is letting people share the items on their "bucket list."

And it's happening in a very low-tech way: a makeshift chalkboard that sits in front of some buildings under construction.

The project, at 14th and Q streets Northwest, was inspired by a similar one that appeared in New Orleans last February. Since then dozens more have popped up in cities all over the country.

The painted wood panels are topped by the phrase "Before I die…" in giant letters. Below, rows and rows of the Spanish translation of the phrase - "Antes de morir quiero" - sit in front of a fill-in-the-blank space for visitors to jot down their own goals.

Some plans are political. The words "Free Iran" populate the space, possibly from the same author. Other goals are very personal: propose to someone, travel the world, skydive, retire. A presumed military service member hopes to "Make Colonel," and a plan to "Colonize Mars" got plenty of laughs and attention from onlookers.

Hector Gelabert, Jr., of Hyattsville, wanted to view the wall in person after seeing photos online. His contribution: "To live, laugh, and love."

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