History of A Hope Project
The seeds of A HOPE PROJECT began with conversations with Lisa Citron, founder of From A Child’s Point of View, and Sylvia Briggs-Bauer, 13, Lilly DeLatour, 14, and Raya Stiles, 14.
In 2018 and 2019, when these three teens were 4th-graders at Columbia Elementary School, they participated in school classes teaching the From a Child’s Point of View curriculum. The art they made then can be seen here and in-person on the ASB Trail in Bellingham.
A few years later the girls say, “When we began to meet at Lisa’s house we were interested in water; its sources and its health. (We still are.) As we talked while baking cookies, whipping up crème brûlée and recycling socks to make toys for dogs stuck in shelters, we noticed the role water plays in the materials we were using—from flour to cotton rags. Water is in everything!”
It was impossible not to notice problems, such as keeping ocean and river waters safe from industrial detergents and pesticides, lead pipes, and medicines flushed down toilets. Clean water for humans and creatures is in trouble.
Soon, the girls decided they wanted to create a public art project focusing on hope. Their first choice was to paint a mural on the street in our neighborhood. They drew up a plan and presented it to the Bellingham Arts Commission to win their approval to paint their mural on a public street. But then it was discovered that the raw materials to make water-based high traffic paint were, like machine parts and infant formula, unavailable. Not only in the city where we live, but throughout the United States.
So they pivoted from painting a street mural to painting pictures for yard signs to tell their story.
They raised the money to pay for printing 30 signs from neighbors on Lynn St. and from baking cookies and brownies sold at community events.
The purpose of the paintings that Sylvia, Lilly, and Raya made is to illustrate hope and actions to protect Planet Earth.
We hope this art installation encourages folks, whether driving through the installation area or enjoying a walk, to slow down and consider ways to support the children in our community.