Positivi-Tree in Silver Spring symbolizes 'inclusivity, protection, shelter'

Positivi-Tree (ABC7)

“Tighten that one,” said Jon Taylor, grabbing an umbrella that would soon be part of a “Positivi-Tree.”

Taylor and another artist, Karl Unnasch, are working to spread a colorful message about positivity.

“This area is incredibly diverse; it’s an absolute gem. If we can do something to brighten the mood, make it a little more special, we’re happy to,” Taylor said of their creation.

It’s the fourth year they’ve put the tree together in Silver Spring. This year, they’re calling it “Positivi-Tree” and filling it with umbrellas of all colors.

“Metaphorically, it functions as a vehicle for inclusivity, protection, shelter…” Taylor explained, as he helped secure an umbrella.

“It reminded me of different people of different nationalities and different colors and everything is just coming together,” said DC resident, Sheila Boykin, who says the tree brightened her day.

Passerbys stopped to snap photos and take it all in.

“We need some positivity!” Said Mark Bett, from Bowie, Maryland.

The message spread quickly on Wednesday.

“We all need to feel that we are welcome somewhere, so, the idea of umbrellas, we’re all under one umbrella on this planet, really,” Taylor said.

“This just really sparked me today and I really needed it. It’s awesome,” Boykin said, smiling.

The team hopes to finish the tree in the next couple of days. A tree lighting event is being held on Saturday evening along with a street party, complete with live music, a beer garden, games, and food.

“It’s really going to be a party,” said Laurie Yankowski, Regional Marketing Director with The Peterson Companies. “We felt like people are ready to just have some fun.”

“We’ll be lighting up the Positivi-Tree this Saturday night at 6. The event is sponsored by Darcars,” Yankowski said.

The group is encouraging people that are stopping by to snap pictures, to tweet about the Positivi-Tree.

“It’s just an inclusive type of rainbow kind of thing that you would see in a child’s crayon box. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” said Marlene Burnett, from Silver Spring.

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