The Umbrella Project

Daily Point of Light # 1214 Sep 29, 1998

The Umbrella Project is a volunteer nonprofit organization that uses art to empower young people worldwide. Dedicated to uniting children throughout the world through creativity, The Umbrella Project develops self-esteem by teaching and inspiring children to make a difference on the planet. Using white umbrellas and rainbow-colored, non-toxic waterproof markers, healthy, ill and challenged children are encouraged to draw images of peace, healing and love.

The Umbrella Project has recently initiated a mentoring program that encourages famous artists, designers and celebrities to paint with school age children. Through this program, the Umbrella Project brings free art to educational facilities.

In 1990, children from the former USSR became the first participants of the project. Since then the adult volunteers have joined together with thousands of children in the United States, Romania, Nepal and Japan to create functional, one-of-a-kind artistic umbrellas. The project's next location will be on the border of Israel and Palestine. Participants will work with Israeli children from Efrat City and Palestinian children of Wadi Nis village to paint umbrellas for peace.

All of the umbrellas are given in exchange for donations at community events. After expenses are met, all funds are donated back to children's organizations. Some of the funds are applied towards administrative costs including umbrellas, markers, newsletters and other office supplies. However, the majority of the funds go to the community and to support free arts programs for children around the world.