Uptown Dallas Mural Encourages Community to Focus on Gratitude

NBCUniversal, Inc.

As a divided nation waits for all the election’s ballots to be counted, a message of positivity is growing in Uptown Dallas.

A mural, commissioned by Uptown Dallas, Inc. and painted by local artist Mari Pohlman, was unveiled along McKinney Avenue on election day with the single word, grateful.

“We want the community to come by and stop, take a minute and breathe and remember what they’re grateful for,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Anita Simmons.

A nearby sign explains:

“2020 may not have gone as we planned…. But we’ve all learned a little something because of it and we want to know…

What have you learned?

-What are you grateful for?

-How are you spreading kindness during these times?”  

And one by one, community members have accepted the invitation to add their own words.

“I wrote that I’m grateful that I’m able to take care of people, and that my family remains happy and healthy during this time,” said Ali Tareen.

Tareen and his wife Anam were among several at the mural Friday who said the last nine months had been hard and filled with anxiety.

“It’s just emotionally draining. It’s nice to see some positivity, spreading some good news and some happy vibes,” said Anam Tareen.

Pohlman agreed. In fact for her, that change in focus has been key.

“For me personally, gratitude has been the thing that’s gotten me through the pandemic. I had some hard times. I spent a lot of time worrying and feeling uncertain and feeling scared. And the moment I realized I could shift my thinking towards what I have and the people around me and the opportunities that are still out there, my thinking really shifted,” said Pohlman.

She hopes it will do the same for those who not only admire her mural but also contribute to it.

Uptown Dallas Inc. said it plans to move the mural every week this month.

The next stop will be along the Katy Trail.

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