CHICAGO, Ill. – More than 90% of Americans are being instructed to hunker down and stay home, but one mom decided social distancing and isolation doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.
Lisa Taras says with a stay-at-home order in effect until the end of the month, she needed a way to keep her two children engaged.
“Being home with them and what are we going to do and how are we going to occupy our time?”
What she came up with has not only engaged her children but captured the imagination of her entire neighborhood. She calls it “window art and inspiration.”
“We have a time where we sit down, and we say ok, today's theme is rainbow. So, we're going to sit down in the dining room table and we're going to get our watercolors and our paper,” said Taras.
Three themes a week are chosen and announced to the neighborhood via a Facebook group. They’re then put on display in front room windows.
“So, for instance right now we have a rainbow and umbrella theme,” said Taras.
They’ve already paid homage to the sun, first responders and delivery truck drivers.
A shared map helps families navigate the Chicago neighborhood as they go on the hunt for the inspirational art in the walking gallery.
“To be cut off from everybody was hard. So, this does make us feel like we’re connected again,” said Jill Narstedt.
For Narstedt, mom to 5-year-old Scarlet and 7-year-old Penny, it’s sparked new connections as well.
“My neighbor across the way, she's elderly. She called me for the first time since I’ve lived here and said, ‘I’m only calling you to tell you that your rainbow makes me so happy.’”
Taras says spreading happiness through vibrant, colorful art is a reminder that we’re not alone.
“It's a way for us to kind of keep connected you know we ride our bikes through the neighborhood, and we see a house and we see families and we wave through the window and there’s a sense there that hey we’re in this together,” said Taras.
They’re coming together in a time of social isolation with the hope that one day everything’s going to be okay.