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“Miss You, Love You, Wash Your Hands”: a message to inspire many

By Jessie Nakahara | May 26, 2020

Perhaps you’ve been out for a walk and come across one of these signs: “Miss you, love you, wash your hands.”

It’s a comforting and caring message, but what about that little QR code? Pull out your phone and scan each sign’s code to access a plethora of YouTube music videos intended to empathize, connect or just generally relate to what we’ve all been going through for the past several months. 

The concept originated with local arts teacher and co-founder of the Davis Live Music Collective, Kyle Monhollen, and is continually updated and driven by community participation. Monhollen has made the print-ready design freely available, through the Miss You Love You Wash Your Hands (MYLYWYH) Facebook page, to anyone who wants to bring messages of kindness and connection to their own community. A recipe for wheat paste is even provided on the page to be used by community members when posting posters. 

Because of its accessibility, the project has grown far beyond the bike paths of Davis: MYLYWYH posters have gone up in other Northern California towns—as well as in places as far as Lexington, Kentucky; Portland, Oregon; and New York City. As expressed on the project’s Facebook page, “MYLYWYH offers a simple reminder that you are missed and loved, and that the people who miss and love you want to keep you safe.” 

Monhollen notes that the signs’ messages not only apply to the individuals reading them, but also the local events and business we all love and miss. Davis Music Festival, the large annual South by Southwest style event organized by Monhollen and the rest of Davis Live Music Collective that raises money for Davis Schools Arts Foundation, is just one of many major Davis events that had to be cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

Finding ways to stay connected and keep the creative ball rolling from a distance has been essential for artists and arts organizations during the pandemic, and Davis has seen some amazing results in the form of virtual festivals and readings, video ensembles, family bands, online exhibitions and workshops, and uplifting musical signage.    

In fact, MYLYWYH was recently recognized by InquirED, an inquiry driven, standards-based online curriculum resource, based out of Chicago, and used by schools all over the country. “Kyle’s project was a perfect fit to serve as an example for students of an ‘uplifting action,'” states Jillian Corr of Davis, an InquirED Learning Experience Designer. In response to the COVID-19, inquirED created Together When Apart, a free remote curriculum to provide educators with a high-quality distance learning resource and directly address student experience during the pandemic. The curriculum is divided into weekly “inquiries” each exploring a different question. Corr helped to design the weekly inquiry that asks students, “How can we support and encourage our community during difficult times?” She and inquirED saw the potential in Monhollen’s project to serve as a case study, one that not only provides support and encouragement, but also potential for connection and inspiration through its simple message and delivery.

View how MYLYWYH has been used within inquirED’s curriculum here: https://www.together.inquired.org/daytwo-weekfour-il
Learners are encouraged to think about, discuss, and become inspired by the project to move forward with their own uplifting actions.

Click Here for a playlist of the Davis community-sourced MYLYWYH songs.

To learn more about local creative activities inspired by, or reimagined during, the COVID-19 era:

∙          Follow and share on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DavisArtsandCulture

∙          Follow us on Instagram: @cityofdavisarts

∙          Tag your posts and photos: #cityofdavisarts

Jessie Nakahara is an Arts and Cultural Affairs Program Associate for The City of Davis.

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