MADISON, NJ-- Madison Kicks off "Turn the Town Yellow" initiative with a full line up Saturday March 11 starting at 2:30p.m.

In celebration of the 5th anniversary of the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness (‘IDoH’) March 20th, Madison, NJ in collaboration with will “Paint the Town Yellow” with Optimism.  "This inaugural town-wide celebration March through May (Mental Health Awareness Month) will include an exhibit of Optimism-inspired works in Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub and throughout town, featuring International Optimism Yellow (a/k/a ‘INT-O Yellow’) a color with a cause," said event organizer Whitny Sobala.

Over 30 local business and organizations have united though this movement by ‘adopting’ a piece of Optimistic art from the Peg Williams Art Gallery at Short Stories to prominently display in their storefronts and offices, organizing independent INT-O Yellow and Optimism-inspired events and projects for public participation and display, and by providing discounts for those wearing yellow on March 20th. A portion of proceeds from all art sales will benefit the Madison Area YMCA’s Community Mental Health Initiative.

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According to the programming team, "the town-wide celebration kicks off with an opening reception of the “Optimism in Action Group Art Show” at the Peg Williams Gallery, featuring a collection of Optimism-inspired works by an array of artists who have united through their embrace of the color INT-O Yellow, with the shared intention to shine a light on Depression. Mayor Robert H. Conley, Borough of Madison, Phil Murphy, NJ, Gubernatorial Candidate and Diane Mann, CEO, Madison Area YMCA will preside over the opening event looking forward as business owners, local artists, musicians, residence and local city government collaborate to ‘Turn Optimism into Action’ through yellow themed art exhibits, fundraisers, an informed lecture series and community events.  The event is open to the public and refreshments and snacks will be provided compliments of Gary’s Wine & Marketplace & Whole Foods," said Sobala.

"Paint the Town Yellow is an opportunity for the communities, creatives and companies to unite together and turn Optimism into Action; helping to brighten lives and the community.  It was developed as a platform for participation, giving the public a way to participate in this new U.N sanctioned holiday 'International Day of Happiness' while also helping to raise funding for the Madison-Area YMCA’s Community Mental Health Initiative and shine a light on Depression," added Sobala. 


2:30 – 2:50 p.m.                 Live music, food, art

2:50 – 3:00 p.m.                 Remarks: Barb Short, Owner, Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub; Riley Johndonnell, Founder of Optimism Art Movement & Co-Founder, UMEWE; Robert H. Conley, Mayor, Madison Borough

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.                 Remarks: Phil Murphy, NJ Gubernatorial Candidate

3:15 – 3:20 p.m.                 Remarks: Diane Mann, CEO, Madison-Area YMCA

3:20 – 3:30 p.m.                 Photo opportunity

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.                 Live music, food, art