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You Can Help Chicago's Beloved 'You Are Beautiful' Campaign Hit All 50 States

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 20, 2017 7:30PM


"You Are Beautiful."

It's been about 15 years since Chicago-based artist Matthew Hoffman started that now-famous, three-word, posi-art project—first as little more than a handful of stickers, each printed with that inspirational little koan. Over time, it supernova'ed here in Chicago, where there are now more than two dozen public-art installations that bear the slogan scattered across the city. "You Are Beautiful"s are so ubiquitous in Chicago that it often feels like there's probably one in every state. Now, the noted negativity-hater (if you'll allow an oxymoron) really is taking the project to all 50 in the country, hoping to bring one permanent exhibition to each state, and he wants your help.

The new, nationwide-minded campaign is part of a just-unveiled initiative called Kickstarter Gold. Basically, the crowdfunding titan is digging back into the vault and asking some its most successful campaign launchers from the past to come up with new twists on their old faves. Rather than try to reinvent "beauty," Hoffman is wisely opting for scale.

Kickstarter notes:

"In the five years prior to 2013, which is when Matthew Hoffman launched a Kickstarter campaign for the You Are Beautiful book, half a million stickers bearing his simple, powerful message had traveled around the world. Today, he and his team are back and aiming to create public installations of those three sweet words in every U.S. state."

The campaign is looking for $25,000 for the ambitious U.S. expansion; but as the campaign notes, this is hardly his first crowdfunding rodeo. If they're able to raise $60,000, it'll go global, with a permanent "You Are Beautiful" on each continent—even Antarctica, apparently.

Right now, the campaign is also searching for host sites in each state. So if you know the owner of a prominent property in, say, New Mexico who also happens to love spectacle and self-affirmation, hit 'em up.

You can check out all the pledge rewards (including, you guessed it, stickers) and learn more about the "beautiful"-across-the-nation campaign here.