Artist Scott Cohen’s excitement and zeal are infectious when he talks about the Life Cube Project. His installation centers on a belief he adopted as a young boy: if you write down your goals and dreams, the chances of them happening increases.

“This is something I want to share that’s had a major impact on my life,” he said. “I start out writing what I want to achieve in life and inevitably it is the first step to manifestation.”

Festivalgoers will get a chance to be part of Cohen’s interactive art project at this year’s Chalk the Block. The 12-by-12 foot metal box prompts them to write down their goals on the cube.

Cohen created the Life Cube a few years ago and first erected it in 2011. It has been featured at Burning Man for the last three years and even occupied an entire city block in downtown Las Vegas. The cube was set aflame at both events.

While the project will not be set on fire at Chalk the Block, Cohen stressed community involvement is pivotal to the cube.

“For me, part of this is making art accessible,” he said.

He grew up in the inner city in upstate New York in the midst of the 1960s race riots. He noted he could have been less fortunate, and the project is also a way for him to give back.

“I want to get as many people in the community involved as possible,” he said.

To that end, Cohen arrived nearly two weeks before Chalk the Block to speak at area elementary schools, Fort Bliss and a homeless shelter. His goal is to pump up excitement about becoming involved in the project and to encourage students to not only write down their dreams and goals, but to understand the difference between them.

“I want anyone who interacts with the cube to understand the difference between a goal, a dream and a wish,” Cohen said. “I want to get people to think about what they want to accomplish and if they’re going to get up every morning to make it happen.”

The cube will feature walls and areas for local artists to paint on as well as space for “dream sticks” that have local students’ goals and wishes written on them.

For Cohen, the joy of creating the Life Cube rests largely on the effect it has on the community, creating a truly egalitarian event.

“I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world because I get to do something so impactful and inclusive,” he said. “Rich, poor, educated, or not – this is for everyone.”

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