Happy Billboard Project is an initiative by Adelaide artist Sarah Connor. After taking to the streets with friends and holding up positive posters to passers-by and seeing peoples happy reactions, Sarah had the idea to implement these positive posters on a more permanent basis – on billboards and advertising spaces in Sydney. Sole Therapy supports this great cause because we believe in a happy sense of community.
Sarah Connor and Spreading Happy members Lakota Gibbons, Dylan Markwick. Taisha Reed, Darcy Storm take to the streets. Picture: Mike Burton
The 29 year old from Millswood is behind the “Spreading Happy” group — a posse of orange onesie clad South Australians who take to Adelaide’s major intersections to hold up signs of hope and inspiration.
Ms Connor began the personal passion around three years ago, an idea borne from her former job as Terry the Termite — a hyperactive insect who waves to drivers outside Goodwood Road’s Termimesh company.
“I got addicted to making people smile on their boring commute to and from work so I hired myself in my spare time,” Ms Connor said.
“It started with me and a mate and then other friends wanted to get involved then we launched it on Facebook and lots of people expressed their interest (in being involved).’’
And the positive response the group has encountered — from drivers yelling out ‘thank you’ to Facebook feedback that the simple gesture has helped people out of a tough time has launched a new phase — “The Happy Billboard Project”.
Now, the artist and childcare worker wants to see the inspiring words take up a permanent home on billboards and she’s got Sydney’s streets in her sights.
“I had no idea it (purchasing billboard space) is quite expensive to do and then a friend told me about The Happy Project which is two Sydney guys who will give $12,000 towards a project that spreads happiness,’’ she said.
Ms Connor is one of two national finalists for the grant, requiring her to launch a crowd funding campaign on pozible.com and if she garners the most social media shares by the end of this month, any money raised as well as the $12,000 goes towards the project. As the money grant is for a Sydney-based project, should she win the billboards will be erected in the harbour city but Ms Connor’s real passion is making the permanent signs a reality in her hometown.
Presently the Happy Billboard Project is leading the race for the Sydney funding and if Ms Connor succeeds she will begin fundraising from the ground up for an Adelaide incarnation.
“It would make my heart sing to make it happen in Adelaide,’’ she said.