The 9-11 Wall of Hope, a response to the tragic events of 9-11-01, is a work of communal art. It is unique and reflects the beauty and heart of the citizens of Rhode Island.
The Wall of Hope was created across an eleven-month period with the help and support of over 350 volunteers. More than 12,000 Rhode Island citizens, representing all 39 cities and towns in the State, painted tiles, volunteered, and gave money and resources to bring this memorial art installation to life.
Tiles were painted by children in preschools and by inmates at the Department of Corrections. Thousands of residents from Woonsocket to Westerly painted at volunteer events.
There were tile-painting parties at synagogues, mosques, and more than 25 churches from throughout the state. Hundreds of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts painted tiles. Women and children from battered women’s shelters across the state painted tiles.
The monument stood in three parts at three downtown Providence locations (the Waterplace Park tunnel, the Providence Journal building and the RI Convention Center) for sixteen years as a testament to the strength of the American spirit.
In the Spring of 2019, Jennifer Robinson was hired by the City of Providence to direct the reimagining and restoration of the Wall of Hope. In partnership with Arthur Robbins, she scoured the city for a new home for the monument, when John McGinn suggested the colonnade alongside the R.I. Convention Center.
Jennifer and Arthur joined with Barbara Thornton and Junior Jabbie to found the nonprofit entity that would set the stage for restoring, relocating, and safeguarding the Wall of Hope Monument.
The tile panels are currently being meticulously restored so that they can be installed at their new home in downtown Providence in 2022.
Twenty Rhode Islanders who lost family members in the 9-11 tragedy hosted tile- painting events, and one family that lost a family member on the first plane donated all of the construction labor and equipment.
These grieving families worked tirelessly for months, day after day, building and assembling the installation inside the tunnel in time for the unveiling that took place on September 11, 2002.