NEAR THE CORNER of Race Avenue and Gum Street in downtown Searcy, on the west-facing wall of Crafton’s Furniture, the above quote from Helen Keller appears. Although it was originally painted before COVID-19 struck—the quote was the winning entry of a contest put on by the small-town-revitalizing Hulu series Small Business Revolution—the words have taken on new significance. To get a better sense of what it means now, we reached out to the mural’s designer, Tara Peacock.

“You know, there’s new changes every day, related to COVID-19. There’s different regulations and different opinions and things like that, but I think some things that can unite us all are just kindness and positivity, encouragement, which is what I want the mural—or anything that we put out in our community—to be. I, for sure, think the message has a different meaning now. And then the meaning can change continually. There’ll be other things that come to this community—different challenges, and I think “together we can do so much” just embodies, you know, positivity in general.

“People are living out what they say here. And I think with the Small Business Revolution and everything, the entire community came together for that. And there’s so many nonprofits here, small businesses, other things that continually come together to make big things happen. A lot of times, people think, ‘I can’t do it by myself,’ you know—and none of us can. We can all make big differences, though. Together.”

For more about Searcy’s murals, visit thinkartproject.com. To see more work from the artist who executed Tara’s design, Jason White, visit facebook.com/whitesartworks