Photographer Takako created the HOPE IS PROJECT as a way to understand the nature of Hope and inspire others to find it. Together we can inspire a global conversation about hope, collaborate to create real impact, healing and growth, and participate in meaningful change.

Takako has traveled the world, interviewing subjects and handing them a Holga camera and a roll of film, providing them with one simple instruction: photograph hope.

With the collaboration of a team of influencers, the project seeks to place cameras in the hands of many people, challenging them to share their stories and capture images embodying hope. This will capture the continuation of Takako's journey, and can become one of the largest and most influential art exhibits in history -- true partnership between art and purpose. It is a project of transformation and impact focused on the understanding, discovery, and harnessing of the power of hope through the vehicle of an inspiring photographic process. The mission is to engage the power of photography along with a process of exploration, story-telling, and self-reflection to widely inspire hope, effect lasting and meaningful change, and contribute to growth and development in fields of social work, medicine, mental health, tolerance, rehabilitation and recovery. As we explore the nature and power of hope with scientists, mental health experts, leading spiritual figures, leaders, agencies and more, the body of images will offer displays of hope, collaborations with those who see hope as an essential resource, and the opportunity to document the journey to educate encourage our audience to explore the nature of Hope with us.



The birthplace of Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY’s high school graduation rates are at 43%.  Major corporations are struggling to survive.  Young professionals are leaving for better opportunities.  One-third of Rochesterians are living in poverty, worse, 52% of children under the age of 18 are surviving below the poverty rate.

Hope is…all around us.  Hope is…in us.  Hope is…what we, as leaders, need to inspire in our community.

The collaboration between Villa of Hope (a Rochester-based community of caring professionals offering a range of specialized services for youth and families to develop skills for lasting success) and the Hope Is Project is an extraordinary opportunity to influence a community mindset and impact the lives of youth and leaders in Rochester, and help Rochester-and all she touches-find Hope once more.  

Youth at Villa of Hope have experienced some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable—abuse, neglect, loss, and violence. Villa of Hope, we builds programs and services around the knowledge that every youth who comes to us has their own story, and the potential to rewrite their future. Youth at the Villa are self-portraits in progress—and each one is a masterpiece in the making. 

The Hope Is Project plans to work with several Villa of Hope youth to develop their sense of Hope for the future, and how to capture it through the lens of a camera. Additionally, Rochester community leaders (by invitation only) are expected participate to share their visions of Hope alongside our youth.  Their images will be unveiled at the Portraits of Hope Gala on April 22nd, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester.  If young people who have survived the unimaginable and leaders who see the worst can find Hope, surely we all can.

2016 can be the year of finding Hope for Rochester’s future; Hope for Rochester’s kids; Hope for all of us. 



Social Innovation Week

The Hope Is Project is pleased to announce our first public exhibit, as part of Social Innovation Week in New York City. We are delighted to have been invited to share images which have come from our experiences with several participants in the bold photographic experiment which explores the nature and power of hope. A number of never-before seen images will be revealed, and, for the first time, a very limited number of specially selected, signed prints will be made available for purchase at the event. The Hope Is Project will exhibit on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 from 12pm-7pm (Openhouse Gallery, 201 Mulberry Street, in SoHo, NYC). Creator/photographer Sarah Takako Skinner and co-executive producer Marc Raco will be on hand to greet visitors and offer a first hand look inside the project. More info and tickets available at http://wethesocial.com/