On April 24, 25 and 26, 200 brightly decorated umbrellas will festoon Hillside Sedona during the annual Umbrella Project event. Students from all over the United States and Costa Rica decorated the umbrellas based on this year’s theme: One World in Harmony. The umbrellas are available for a suggested donation of $50 each. This year, funds raised will benefit La Guaria Elementary, a school with 22 students in Costa Rica, says Travis Waldron, the nonprofit’s executive director. Students at the school have few resources or access to technology.
“They don’t even have a library – just a bookshelf,” says Travis, who traveled to the school in March along with 11 students from Verrado Elementary School near Phoenix where Travis teaches art. “The principal, who is also the teacher, custodian and cafeteria worker, says he wants to open the world to his students.”
The Umbrella Project is a nationally recognized organization that was founded in 1990 in New York by the late Hilda Brown. Hilda’s goal was to use art to empower young people all over the world. The organization is now headquartered in Scottsdale. In the past, proceeds from the Hillside event have benefited victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Travis says the event’s best year was when it raised more than $8,500 for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. All donations to the Umbrella Project are tax-deductible. The Hillside event will include live music and entertainment. For more information, visit www.umbrellaproject.org or call Hillside Sedona at 928-282-4500. – Erika Ayn Finch. Photograph by Deb Weinkauff.
SEDONA CALENDAR: Events, activities, shows, happenings