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Coloring Our World Since 1990

Adult Umbrella Project volunteers have joined with thousands of young people in the United States, Romania, Nepal, Japan, Thailand, Israel and Costa Rica to create functional, one-of-a-kind artistic umbrellas. See Event Map

The Umbrella Project ... in 30 Seconds

The Umbrella Project empowers young people to make a difference through art.
 

 
The process starts with new, white umbrellas shipped around the United States to be transformed by students into unique pieces of functional artwork. We then collect donations from the sale of these umbrellas. These funds go directly to helping improve the lives of children, families and communities worldwide. At times, local artists also volunteer their time and talents to create umbrellas for our causes.
 
The Umbrella Project also helps other organizations raise money to improve their communities. We do this by providing umbrella kits, the know-how and the coaching necessary for these organizations to have successful umbrella painting events.
 

 
In each case, the financial boost these groups receive is vital, but the real magic is in watching youth of different ages and cultures work together, learn from each other, and collectively make a real difference in the world. That’s the Umbrella Project!

Umbrella Project volunteers and Havasuapi children under umbrella
2016 Havasupai Umbrella Project

The Havasupai Indian Tribe has lived in what is now called Supai, Arizona, for over 1,000 years. This small village is located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, just east of the South Rim. Havasupai means “people of the blue-green waters,” illustrating the distinctive hues of water flowing through the legendary Havasu Falls. Havasupai […]

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Volunteer Voices

Volunteering with the Umbrella Project gives young people an opportunity to be heard and to meaningfully contribute to their communities.

“The goal is to get the kids in Costa Rica enough technology for them to learn better.”

“I was kind of nervous to go to Costa Rica because I feel like I’m not really sure what to teach the kids or feel like they have a lot to teach me as much as I have to team them.”

Madison Krchnavy, Verrado Art Student - Phoenix, Arizona.


Why an Umbrella?

The umbrella is a universal symbol for protection from the storms of life. Umbrellas have been around for some 3000 years. It was thought that the first umbrellas were used to represent the heavens. In ancient cultures of the Far East, Africa, and Europe the umbrella represented royalty and power.

The umbrella is one of the 8 Auspicious Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. An umbrella was said to have protected the body of the Buddha during burial. In many Eastern Cultures an umbrella shades important deities. The Mahratta princes of India were sometimes addressed as Lord of the Umbrella.

Contrary to popular myth, it is perfectly okay to open an umbrella indoors. The superstition of it being bad luck may have been started because people saw it as an act that insulted the spirits of the household by implying that their protection was inadequate! Bless the household spirits and open up! We do.


Got Talent?

The Umbrella Project encourages artists, designers, and celebrities to mentor and paint with school-age children. In addition, umbrellas painted by artists are often added as a special category at exhibits to the umbrellas painted by children and significantly increase the money raised for the designated beneficiary of an event. Through this program, many well-known personalities join with us in supporting the efforts of children to preserve our faith in humanity and our belief that art can replace hateful visions with those of love. Learn more.