History and Mission
After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon, the Secretary of the Veterans of Foreign Affairs Office asked Matt Lamb to develop an art therapy program to help the individuals whose lives had been affected by the tragedy to work through their grief. In May of 2002, 38 participants gathered with Matt to outwardly express their negative emotions of pain and grief and subsequently work through them to find their hopes and dreams. These individuals accomplished this by painting umbrellas! A parade followed in Washington D.C. , with displays on Capitol Hill and a tour of the White House. Since that time, over 2,000,000 individuals in 29 countries have participated in Lamb Umbrellas for Peace; including some the following:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Israel/Palestine, Japan, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Russia, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, USA, Thailand and Vietnam.
What started as an art therapy program for a small group of individuals expanded to a global peace initiative devoted to overcoming violence and intolerance through a persistent yet inclusive message of peace, hope, understanding, and love. The underlying concept of Lamb Umbrellas for Peace remains rooted in the notion that artistic expression, or the painting of umbrellas, will serve as a universal vehicle for expressing this message. By encouraging individuals to explore and expose their inherent creativity in a unbiased, non-critical atmosphere, the project functions as a means of encouraging peace that is capable of crossing borders of countries, language barriers, socioeconomic divides, etc. Lamb Umbrellas for Peace has continuously proven, and will continue to exhibit, the power of art as a vehicle for change. Matt Lamb set out to develop a program that would not only help those original 38 participants paint through their grief, but also work in a way to bring peace to the entire world.
While Lamb Umbrellas for Peace projects have already taken place in 29 countries, the ultimate goal will be to eventually have at least 1 project in all 206 sovereign states around the world. Though this may seem like a daunting task, Lamb Umbrellas for Peace and the global team responsible for its success believe that through ever-evolving technological advances and growing support from people on the ground all over the world, such a feat will be possible. As many familiar with Matt Lamb and his story already know, Matt Lamb came from humble beginnings on the South-Side of Chicago and then went on to become one of the Midwest’s most successful businessmen in the first half of his life and a world-renowned painter during the second half. Lamb Umbrellas for Peace has seen a similar evolution and for those familiar with Matt and his life and work know that he never liked to do anything on a small scale. Therefore, it only makes sense that this program will continue to grow and affect individuals on a local level as well as the international level. Educating children, adults, communities, cities, and entire regions on the power of peace is capable through this program and we hope that one day Matt Lamb’s dreams of a more peaceful world brought about through artistic expression will become a reality! As Matt always said…
Art Can Change the World!