He’ll reveal some secrets, ask students to reveal theirs, and sign books. His name is Frank Warren, and he founded the Internet’s biggest community art project, PostSecret Live, which is coming to Knoxville on March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Cox Auditorium.

The whole adventure began in 2005, when Warren was inspired. While in Paris, France, he had a dream in which he discovered postcards in his nightstand drawer, altered on the backs and containing cryptic messages. The dream captivated him, and soon after he created a community art project destined to someday be world renowned; PostSecret was born.

The process is simple: Men and women from all over the world send artistic renderings of their deepest, soulful secrets to his home address in Maryland. After sifting through 100-200 secrets a day, Warren chooses about 15 per week to feature on the website, postsecret.blogspot.com. There, over 500 million visitors have scrolled through the stories and pictures of complete strangers.

These secrets never fail to entertain. Often controversial or shockingly revealing, the postcards can range from sexual to embarrassing to hilarious to all three at once, sometimes eliciting visceral reactions in the form of e-mails; these reactions are also occasionally posted by Warren.

The success of the site has been so monumental that Warren has published five bestselling books filled with the secrets he’s received; most recently, “Confessions on Life, Death, & God” reached No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2009.

Lindsey Yarbrough, freshman in chemical engineering, said she checks the website every week.

“The secrets are always interesting and sometimes funny, but also because I like to see if I can relate to some of the secrets,” Yarbrough said.

And though many of the secrets do reveal universal truths, others prove truly unique.

“Every Valentine’s Day I send valentines to faraway friends from random Harry Potter characters,” admitted one postcard sender from this week’s post, whose card included hearts and pictures from the movies.

How did UT get such a big name to come speak on campus? Marigrace Angelo, senior in studio art and Spanish and director of PostSecret Live for the Visual Arts Committee (VAC), said she has been a fan of PostSecret since high school.

“I knew that one of the ways Frank manages to keep the website ad-free was from the revenue from the tour,” Angelo said. “So I have been trying to get him here since I was a freshman. This is funded through the student activities fees, so students do get first choice. Even though the general public tickets have sold out, there are still tickets for students. I encourage everyone to call the Central Ticket Office or go down there personally to get a ticket; it’s 100 percent free, just like the basketball ticket system.”

At the event, Warren will give a multimedia presentation, discussing why he started the project and revealing secrets that never made it to the website or into a book. He will also divulge some of his own secrets and invite the audience to do the same.

“It often gets quite emotional and brings the community together … definitely a very inspiring event,” Angelo said.

Clearly, the project encourages vulnerability. But vulnerability of the flavor demanded by PostSecret can be hard to come by.

“Personally, I have never sent one in, but I have always wanted to,” Yarbrough said. “I just never had the guts to do it.”

Students like Yarbrough who have never sent in a secret can enjoy the experience in a unique way by mailing their secrets to be displayed at the UC. Postcards are collected in the VAC comment box in the UC, the School of Art Office or the Office of Student Activities, as well as in any campus mail box. The deadline for submission is Feb. 24.

“People shouldn’t be afraid to send in the secrets; the process is completely anonymous,” Angelo said.

For more information visit http://activities.utk.edu/cpc/ut-post-secret/.