Orange County Unites to Deliver Messages of Hope

Inspiration for a Community Emerging from an Unprecedented Year of Hardships

Groundbreaking vaccines, pioneering medical breakthroughs and the enduring dedication of frontline workers give us all much-needed hope following a year of global crisis and loss. City of Hope Orange County is partnering with Orange County Health Care Agency, numerous community organizations and businesses and local artists to share messages of hope across the region. More than 70 chalk and other artists will unveil large, stunning pieces of street art as part of an inspirational countywide effort. Their art is a bold illustration that, despite all we have been through, there is promise around us and ahead. “Hope Lives in OC” is an artistic, vibrant illustration of a shared vision for a more hopeful and healthier community. It’s medicine for the soul.

Organizations interested in joining the initiative can contact Nisha Morris at

Share photos and videos with us! Tag us on social @cityofhopeoc and use #HopeLivesinOC

Every Piece Delivers a Promise of Hope

Participating artists are of all ages and backgrounds and include students from Orange County School of the Arts. Their unique interpretations of hope grace some of Orange County’s most iconic locations, representing a unified desire to spread love and light through art. All the artists have, in some way, been impacted by COVID-19 or cancer, making the City of Hope-led effort particularly meaningful. Some artists created pieces in honor of those who were taken much too soon; others celebrate renewal and rebirth after illness. The artists’ stories and their work are stark reminders of the impact of cancer. According to statistics, 1 in 3 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and cancer also affects family and friends.

Points of Hope
Visitors to the street art are reminded to practice social distancing, wear masks and follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines

The Artists

Jenna Swerdfeger
Jenna Swerdfeger , Irvine

Instagram: @jkswerd_art

“More than ever, I believe it is vital that we as a society recognize our interconnectedness. I believe that art is one of the universal languages through which we can communicate important ideas, the most important of which is empathy.”

Kim J. Lee
Kim J. Lee , Ladera Ranch

Instagram: @AtelierCreativeArt

“I believe that expressing and taking action of love and care MATTERS. Especially to those who have gone through intense medical care during the pandemic. This action of LOVE helps and encourages others to create HOPE for patients and their families.”

Citlamina Mejia
Citlamina Mejia

Instagram: @bean_dip

“Art allows for people to communicate visually from all around. It takes no education or intellectual background to see and appreciate art. I feel that it's one of the most basic ways of uniting a community through the shared experience of beauty.”

Antonio Mejia
Antonio Mejia , Pomona

Instagram: @smg_antonio_gtc

“Art has an immediate impact on people as it is received in sight, sound, touch, smell. Depending on the medium, art gives new options for folks to consume. When done in a good way, it can bring happiness joy, clarity, and hope.”

Amanda-lee Harris-Gibbs
Amanda-lee Harris-Gibbs , Orange County

IG: @wanderingbrushes
Facebook: @wanderingbrushes
TikTok: @wanderingbrushes

“Art has an uncanny way of connecting people, whether it’s inspiring, evoking emotion or sparking conversations. Something relatively simple can immediately grasp the hearts of many. Its power transcends cultural differences with a universal language.”

Alexandra Bernard
Alexandra Bernard , Rancho Santa Margarita


“There is no other news like hearing someone you care for has cancer. There is also no other news that can bring you more hope than hearing that loved one is going to be okay.”

Maaria Kader
Maaria Kader , Laguna Niguel

Instagram: @artbymaariakader

“Art brings people together in a very therapeutic way. It allows us in any medium to express our creative side…art breathes hope into us all at any age, from toddlers to seniors. Art really does heal.”

Harmony Harris
Harmony Harris , Orange County

Instagram: @harmonydara

“Art is what connects us through inspiration and a shared experience — it grounds us and keeps us in the moment, even if just for a moment.”

Jessica Jimenez-Agama
Jessica Jimenez-Agama , Laguna Niguel

Instagram: @artjagama

“Expressing hope to me means to always know that “this too shall pass.”

Eden Ben-Shoshan
Eden Ben-Shoshan , Mission Viejo


“Art is a way to create, depict and express things that may be difficult to communicate in words.”

Gus Moran
Gus Moran , Pomona

Instagram: @gus.moran
Facebook: @gusmoranart

“Chalk art has had a big role in bringing people together. Chalk art / street art was one way people were able to express themselves during these difficult times.”

Brooklyn Castillo
Brooklyn Castillo , Laguna Beach

Instagram: @castillo.brooklyn

“I want to spread love and light. I know that one of the best ways to do that is through art.”

Gabriela Moreno
Gabriela Moreno , Laguna Beach

Instagram: @artimestudio
Facebook: @artimebarro

“Community engagement with the arts is my realm. Supporting a cause with ideas and color builds relationships and also bring diversity to impact our society.”

Kristen Klein
Kristen Klein , Santa Ana

Instagram: @artfullykristenk

“Expressing hope is important because it drives positive energy and change.”

Lori Antoinette
Lori Antoinette , Palmdale

Instagram: @ishyla
Facebook: @LAntArt

“The beauty of art is soul medicine. Art can take you to new and delightful places. People who enjoy it, most often enjoy each other all the more.”

Renee Chen, Emily Phu,Ashley Thorlin
Renee Chen, Emily Phu,Ashley Thorlin , Mission Viejo

Instagram: @realmofpalettes

“Art has its own way of communicating feelings that resonates with the audience and naturally draw them together.”

Antonio Mejia
Antonio Mejia , Pomona

Instagram: @xiucoatlmejia

“Hope will guide us to walk in beauty and craft a safe and equal world for ourselves and those who come after us.”

Shanna Mantey
Shanna Mantey , Mission Viejo

Instagram: @withinherdesigns

“I hope art can make people feel less alone and bring a sense of connection.”

Heidi Neilson
Heidi Neilson , Santa Monica

Instagram: @withlovefromheidi


Matt Vargas
Matt Vargas , Santa Ana

Instagram: @funday_collective

“Art is not only what people can see, but they can communicate with it and relate to it. And with positivity and meaningful words, art can set a smile on everyone's face and bring people closer together.”

Music as a Form of Art

Singer/Songwriter Gyasi (Jah-see) Ross is influenced by music greats Otis Redding, Bill Withers and Ella Fitzgerald. He makes strong connections with his audiences through his soulful voice and beautiful lyrics. The West Coast Songwriter award winner has written an original piece for this initiative. Gyasi’s song reminds us we are all in this together, that we catch one another when we fall – and that we are stronger because we have hope.

Instagram: @gyasirossmusic

Community Voices
  • Annette M. Walker, President, City of Hope Orange County “At City of Hope, hope is the foundation of everything we do – and hope never ends. We want to share this powerful sentiment with Orange County. We are thankful to our partners who have joined us in this effort and to the artists who are lending their talents to create a visual expression of a more hopeful and healthier community. Our entire nation can benefit from hope and we hope this effort is replicated across the country.”
  • Doug Chaffee, Orange County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman, Fourth District “It’s been a difficult year but Orange County is resilient and strong. Our community members have stepped up and been there for one another. Hope is evident and all around right now – in the continued commitment of our frontline heroes, researchers delivering vaccines, and our residents who remain vigilant about wearing masks and practicing social distancing. My hope is that this public art initiative serves as an appreciation for all we have accomplished.”
  • Wyland, Internationally renowned marine life artist and conservationist “Art can motivate, inspire, heal, bring people together – and have lasting effects on our health. It also plays an important role in bringing attention to what matters the most.”
  • Amanda Harris-Gibbs, Participating artist “It has been a challenging year for everyone and we are all need some good news. My grandparents and cousin were taken too soon by cancer. I want to support awareness, testing and prevention and inspire anyone who is going through a hard time. Everyone can benefit from hope.”
  • Barry Rondinella, Airport Director “John Wayne Airport is excited to partner with the City of Hope as one of several sites to host a visual interpretation of its Hope Lives in OC chalk art project and amplify the message of a more hopeful and healthier Orange County community.”
  • Ed Kim, M.D., M.B.A., Physician-in-Chief, City of Hope Orange County “Viewing and making art can improve physical and emotional well-being, relieve stress and anxiety, and aid with relaxation. At City of Hope, art therapy is part of our whole-person approach to helping cancer patients, survivors and their families address the emotional and psychological issues that can arise during and after treatment. Now, we are bringing art’s healing qualities to our community.”
  • Paige Oden, Director of the Visual Arts Conservatory, Orange County School of the Arts “Our OCSA students are always eager to use their artistic skills to impact their community in a positive way. The City of Hope posters are the sincere voices of our students, cheering people on in these difficult times.”
  • Clayton Chau., M.D., Ph.D. Orange County Health Care Agency Director & County Health “The challenges of the past year have inspired a renewed sense of hope and optimism. We know that as long as we work together and support each other, there is always hope for better days ahead. This art project reflects our shared sense of optimism and communicates our hopes for a brighter future.”


Soka University
City of Irvine
Anaheim Packing District
Five Point
OC Fair Event Center
OC Health Care Agency
City of Newport Beach
The Camp
Visit Newport Beatch
OC School of the Arts
Wyland Foundation
John Wayne Airport
Doug Chafee
Great Park

Follow City of Hope Orange County @cityofhopeOC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter .

Partner organizations include: @ochealth, @Wyland, @WeAreOCSA, @OCFair, @packingdistrict, @SokaUniv, @TheCAMPOC, @JohnWayneAir, @cityofnewportbeach, @cityofirvine, @SupervisorChaffee and @gpneighborhoods .

Organizations interested in joining the initiative can contact Nisha Morris at