In June 2011, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council asked us to create a one-of-a-kind public art piece that would showcase the hopes of their community for their first neighborhood festival. Since the event was taking place in a park, we decided to create our first ever Hope Tree.
Hanging from our tree were more than 200 leaves with real, raw hopes that our Community Listeners had heard right there in the neighborhoods of Eagle Rock. We had gathered the hopes more than a year prior at our Hope Walk event when we spent three hours speaking with people from all walks of life – small children, grandparents, friends, and strangers. We heard simple hopes: that more people would sing and share music, that children could succeed at school. We heard deep hopes: that a nephew would be returned to a family, that a struggling neighborhood would see things turn around.
Hundreds of people showed up for the final event, and about 150 new hopes were added to the tree. After the event, the entire collection of hopes was compiled and distributed to every school, non-profit, civic organization, and house of worship in Eagle Rock with the invitation to reflect, absorb, and learn from what their neighbors are saying.
This was the first time that the community received a collective picture of what their neighborhood was hoping for.
In August, the leaves were moved to a St. Barnabas Episcopal Church just down the street, where they hung for three months on a new tree in the heart of Eagle Rock.
Are you interested in a Community Listening project in your neighborhood?
Contact us today, and we’ll help you create the perfect project for your community.