Vibrantly colored origami cranes take flight against a background of swirling gold, transforming as they fly into a living crane skimming over a deep blue river.  Paper ideas become living flesh, and desert gives way to life-giving water. Cranes are symbols of hope, and the cranes flocking at 315 S University Parks Drive are symbols of hope and positive change for a community bursting with possibilities.  “1000 Hopes for Waco” honors the hands-on work being done in our community to bring forth a bright and hopeful future for every part of Waco.


"1000 Hopes for Waco" was conceptualized and brought to life in the summer of 2018 through Creative Waco's ArtPrenticeship program. Working with Waco ISD and Prosper Waco summer interns, ArtPrenticeship results in real-world concept-to-completion mentored work experience for aspiring young creatives and leaves Waco with new artistic masterpieces. To create "1000 Hopes," four professional artists led ten Waco-area high school students through a creative process, during which the students learned what it means to be an artistic individual while sharing a creative vision with others.

“1000 Hopes for Waco” was created by artists Will Suarez (lead designer), Megan Morris, Cade Kegerreis, and Sean Oswald. Student artists were Naya Banda, Nadia Benett, Lizbeth Duarte, Londell Gilmore, Charla Goosby, Magnolia Oliphant, Willie Padilla, Tamra Richie, Savana Salazar, and Joseph Wlazlinski.  From concept to completion, the team designed, planned, and painted a mural that will give joy and life to Downtown Waco for years to come.

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Design & Teaching 

Will Suarez (lead design), Sean Oswald, Megan Morris Major and Cade Kegerreis


Naya Banda, Nadia Benett, Lizbeth Duarte, Londell Gilmore, Charla Goosby, Magnolia Oliphant, Willie Padilla, Tamra Richie, Savana Salazar and Joseph Wlazlinski

Project Manager 

Stefanie Wheat Johnson


These awesome organizations and businesses that invested in 1,000 Hopes for Waco:

Waco Public Improvement District (Beautification Grant), The Cooper Foundation, Baylor Philanthropy Project, The Magnolia Foundation, Mitchell Construction Company Inc., Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Kyle and Diane Deaver, Turner Behringer and MC Art Supplies.

These great people whom sponsored the ArtPrentices:

John and Karina Deaver, Ottis and Heidi Foster, Hilton Waco, Ronda and Sean McCarthy, Kimberly and Aaron McMillan, Betsy and Phil Reeder, Lisa and Rick Sheldon, Terry and Elaine Stevens, Elizabeth Taylor, Tekell and Tekell LLC.

This project would not have been possible without the wonderful support of:

Shane Turner, Fiona Bond, Chris McGowan, Elise Edwards, Lisa Sheldon, Ottis Foster, Jim Winton, Nick Alvarado, Rae Jefferson, Larry Carpenter, Andreas Zaloumis, Rebekah and Jeremy Hagman, Rebecca Weller, Hilary Oswald and Cincinnati Artworks Program.



You can be part of 1000 Hopes for Waco!  We want members of the community, and even visitors, to create their own origami crane—their own "hope"—for the people and future of Waco.  Fold an origami crane like the ones featured in “1000 Hopes,” snap a photo, and share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Use #1000HopesForWaco and tag @CreativeWaco, and tell us your hope for our community.