A lobby full of hearts for a world full of hearts. 

The Swiftel Center invited a local artist to hand-paint a heart mural in the main lobby, joining in the worldwide #aworldofhearts movement as a way to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many other Brookings businesses and residents have joined the movement as well, with hearts filling windows all over town.

Ashley Biggar, a local artist and owner of Creative Impressions as well as part-time Swiftel Center employee, is the creator of the Swiftel Center’s hand-painted heart mural. The mural spans the entire main lobby, with hearts filling every window panel. Biggar was inspired by images from the #aworldofhearts movement and created this unique, original design. 

The hearts follow a rainbow pattern, with white hearts flanking both ends. Each heart is hand-painted, with varying sizes and dimensions to make each uniquely special. 

The intention of the mural is to spread messages of hope, love and togetherness to the Brookings community and out to the world. Images of the mural were shared online on the Swiftel Center Facebook page and Instagram account as well as in the #aworldofhearts Facebook group.

The creator of the #aworldofhearts movement is Mandy Gill from North Dakota. According to the Facebook group she started: “This group was created to follow the world vision of filling windows with hearts. By filling your windows with hearts, your neighbors and those passing by will know we are in this together!” 

What started as a small idea has grown into a worldwide movement, with hundreds of thousands of members and growing every day. It’s a viral sensation that has spread throughout the world showing the love we all need right now. Thousands of families are filling their windows with hearts and sharing messages of unity as a worldwide community. 

Connecting with and serving the Brookings community are important components of the Swiftel Center mission. Although the Swiftel Center facility is currently closed to the public, the full-time team is continuing to carry out the mission of the facility “… to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the region …” by exploring new ways, like #aworldofhearts, to serve and inspire the Brookings community. 

The Swiftel Center team encourages Brookings community members to join the movement. Hearts can be colored, painted, sewn, crafted, cut from paper, printed from the computer, assembled from nature – anything goes. Creators can display their hearts in windows and share images online using the hashtags: #aworldofhearts, #visitbrookingssd and #strongtogether. Community members are encouraged to take a walk or drive around town, while practicing safe social distancing, to see how many hearts they can find. 

To join the movement, search #aworldofhearts on Facebook groups and request to join (www.facebook.com/groups/aworldofhearts). Members can view photos of artwork and interact with other members by liking and sharing images. Brookings community members are encouraged to share pictures of their hearts using the hashtags: #aworldofhearts, #visitbrookingssd and #strongtogether. 

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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