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Community tree in Silver Spring aims to send a message of togetherness

Community tree in Silver Spring aims to send a message of togetherness. (Photo: ABC7)

A “Community Tree” is coming together in Silver Spring.

“We stopped in our tracks and just wanted to watch and see what’s going on,” said Jesse Broder Van Dyke, visiting the area from Hawaii. A group of artists are working to send a message.

“Regardless of what’s going on, we always need to come together,” said Karl Unnasch, Lead Artist on the project.

Unnasch is working with local artists on this year’s Community Tree.

“You can’t spell community without unity,” he said, smiling. It’s a word with big meaning.

“The times that we are in and the area that we are at—it’s very diverse here—and we really just wanted to focus that on each other. You need to come together to make the world go round,” said Michelle Izquierdo, an artist working on the project.

“A lot of different colors, they are kind of split down the middle and then kind of branch off to keep it abstract, you know?” Said artist Erick Satchell, pointing to the mural on the side of the Community Tree. “A sense of unity.”

“It struck me when I was walking by that every color is represented on the tree and I think that’s a really good message and something we need more of,” said Broder Van Dyke.

Still in the early stages, the tree is already getting attention.

“You can focus on your differences and you can argue about those endlessly, or you can choose to focus on the things that you have in common and you can build on those things that you have in common,” said Sam Brayden, from Utah.

“Let’s come together and smile,” Unnasch said. “I think we need more of that right now.”

A tree lighting ceremony will take place on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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