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CHICO, Calif. – Chico State billboards originally purchased to promote a spring musical have been repurposed and set in place around the city Wednesday morning, promoting positive words amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The billboards feature the messaging, “Community, Compassion, Resilience,” Chico State spokesperson Sean Murphy announced Wednesday. The message is meant to represent the bedrock values that both Chico State and Butte County communities lead with.
Through the first week of May, the billboards will be displayed at the corners of Esplanade and Cohasset, as well as Park Avenue and 20th Street, Murphy said.
Murphy said the billboards were originally purchased to be used for promotion of its 2020 Spring Musical, the Tony Award-winning hip-hop musical, “In the Heights.” The ads were already paid in full and without an option to cancel, in November 2019.
Once Governor Gavin Newsom issued California’s stay-at-home order, Chico State was forced to cancel the musical. However, Murphy said instead of leaving the billboards blank, the university decided to utilize them as an opportunity to acknowledge and show their appreciation for all that the local community is going through in responding to the current COVID-19 crisis.
Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson saw this occasion as a way to share the University’s gratitude, Murphy said in a press release.
“Our region’s response to COVID-19 is the same as it was for the historic Camp Fire, Oroville Dam disaster, and other challenges we’ve faced together in the past,” Hutchinson said. “Not only did we survive those adversities, we also emerged with a greater commitment to one another and a belief in our own resilience as a community.”