By Brian Hendershot

In May, we launched Color Us Hopeful, a coloring book designed in partnership with local artists and distributed by essential service workers. We wanted to provide comfort for the youngest members of our community, specifically those who were feeling especially isolated, unsettled, and disconnected because of COVID-19. Just as importantly: We wanted children from all walks of lives to see themselves represented in the art and artists in the book.

Color Us Hopeful: Coloring Book — which you can download in English and Spanish HERE — was met with enthusiasm by adults and children alike, and to date, we’ve distributed 2,700 print copies. The success of the project, combined with the shared, generational trauma and grief many of us are experiencing, led to a second iteration of Color Us Hopeful, an activity book. (Click HERE to download it.)

Filled with fun games you can try home, as well as educational tips for parents and guardians, the content of Color Us Hopeful: Activity Book relates to Sacramento, the Crocker, or current events. (Pay special attention to page 7, which encourages people to write a short poem about a work by Granville Redmond. Send your poems to us, and we might just feature them on social media or on our blog!)

Untitled 2 by Aik Brown

The activity book also features art that didn't make it into the first edition of Color Us Hopeful. This work was created by Aik Brown, a graduate of Humboldt State University and a former Art Impact Fellow for the Crocker. Aik’s style is contemporary abstraction with elements of graffiti, cartoons, nature, human figures, and nontraditional tribal designs; he focuses on making art that is honest, vulnerable, and fun. Brown has created art for many clients, including College Track Sacramento, Mural Expressions, Eurofins Supplement Labs, Sacramento Charter High School, Luther Burbank High School, Black Lives Matter Sacramento, and many more. He was a featured artist in Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls Mural Festival in 2018 and 2019, too!

Finally, those of you who have already opened the book may have noticed we forgot something very important: The answers to our word play puzzle on page 11. Click HERE to see the answers. (Note to self: Have someone check our puzzles before we go to press.)

Although the Museum is temporarily closed, art is still available everyday on our website or through one of our digital classes. To stay up with the latest Museum news — or to catch one of our livestreams — follow us on social media and YouTube. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter, HERE. Keep your eyes open for information about upcoming exhibitions or ones that were extended, like American Expressions / African Roots: Akinsanya Kambon’s Ceramic Sculpture.

Color Us Hopeful was made possible in part by Bank of America, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, and the city of Sacramento's Office of Art & Culture.

Top Image: The Color Us Hopeful Activity Book cover, designed by Aik Brown.

About the Author: Brian Hendershot serves as the Crocker's primary support editor, writer, and occasional audiovisual editor. Before joining the Crocker, he was the Head of Communications at the Museum of the Red River in Oklahoma. He also sat on the McCurtain County Historical Board of Directors and currently sits on the Crocker's MASS Action Committee. He received his MA in Communications at Drury University in Missouri.

Page 11 Answers: In order from top to bottom: Holland or Norland; Jordan, dollar, aloha, Honda, droll, don, jar, haj, raj, nod, raja, halo, ajar, and hand