When Covid-19 shut Sacramento down, we teamed up with local artists and essential service partners to create Color Us Hopeful, a unique, innovative, and uplifting gift to the community in the form of a coloring book unlike any other. Designed in partnership with local artists and distributed by essential service workers, Color Us Hopeful aims to provide inspiration for younger members of the community who may be feeling especially isolated, unsettled, and disconnected. (That said, we found that many adults can’t help but pick up a crayon once they open the book up and start exploring.)

Imagined by the Crocker’s Director of Education, Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick, and conceptualized and organized by the Crocker’s Block by Block outreach team, Color Us Hopeful is designed to bring the community together through art. As part of its ongoing support of local creatives, the Crocker gathered fifteen local artists of diverse cultural, socioeconomic, and gender/lifestyle backgrounds to create a coloring book that everyone can celebrate and relate to. Each page is presented in both English and Spanish, with a photo and description of the local artist who created it. The back of the book is filled with creative resources and tips for artful exploration that everyone can follow, even during social distancing.

More than 2,500 copies of Color Us Hopeful were distributed to children served by essential service organizations. At some community centers, for example, the books were distributed with meals that the children and their parents and guardians could take home.

The Crocker’s Block by Block team made a digital version of the book available for free, so that creatives of all ages across the globe can enjoy its art and inspiration.