Via Colori, The Street Painting Festival, is an upscale signature special event which raises funds for not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States.
Via Colori brings together artists, volunteers and businesses with non-profit agencies in a unique community project to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for important social causes.
Street painting was first recorded in the 16th Century when itinerant artists would paint religious icons on the courtyards of the great Italian cathedrals. They would leave their chalk boxes open, in hopes that the pilgrims would show their appreciation for the work by leaving some coins. Because the images these artists would paint were often of the Madonna, they became known as Madonnari.
Street painting languished until about 30-years ago when festivals began to spring up in Europe, mostly in Italy. In 1986, the first American festival began in Santa Barbara, California. It was named I Madonnari after the first street painters, and today it still boasts some of the most beautiful works found in festivals anywhere.