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A street sign is spreading the message of ‘Hope’ throughout New Orleans

Jonathan Ferrara photographs Dooky Chase for his Hope for NOLA project

NEW ORLEANS– One thing we all need right now is hope in these troubling times. WGNO’s Kenny Lopez introduces us to an artist who’s spreading the message of hope with a special community-wide project.

With a street sign that reads “Hope”, artist Jonathan Ferrara is hoping to bring the message of hope back to the streets.


“A simple street sign, but so much more,” he said.


Ferrara got the idea to take photos of New Orleanians holding the “Hope” street sign during the Covid-19 pandemic. He calls it the Hope Photo Project or Hope For NOLA.


“A friend pulls out some street signs and asked who wants a sign, and one of them said hope and I said I’ll take that one. I then asked him to photograph me holding up the hope sign in front of the Fair Grounds at Jazz Fest, which was canceled this year. After holding up the sign, I thought wouldn’t it be great to photograph iconic New Orelanians,” he said.


Over 180 New Orleanians including local leaders and community influencers have been photographed for the project including Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Kermit Ruffins, Irma Thomas, Susan Spicer, Terrance Osborne and so many more.


One particular photo touched Ferrara deeply.


“She’s a Touro patient named Trishelle McDaniel and we took a photo of her in front of Touro Hospital. In front of the rainbow with her young son Brian and the hope sign, her son was born while she was at the hospital while she had Covid. Just an inspirational story,” he said.


Ferrara makes sure to sanitize the sign before and after anyone touches it to take the photos.


This project is really about uplifting people and reminding them to never lose hope.


“I think hope is always necessary, especially in these trying times and hope will hopefully get us through this process together as one. Whether it is Covid, or the future of our country, hope is a precious thing,” he said.


Ferrara went on to say, “I looked it up and what it is is the expectation for something to happen in the future, and it is an ubiquitous term that encompasses everything in the world, really.”


If you’d like to check out all the photos, go to Hope For Nola on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.