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Home / Chalk festival

Hundreds of Madonnari Will Take Over Paseo Colorado Pasadena on Father’s Day Weekend

The Pasadena Chalk Festival, free for all ages, will be held over Father’s Day weekend from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day at The Paseo on 300 E. Colorado Blvd.- Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

By Terry Miller

For centuries artists (known in Italy as “Madonnari” or street painters) have made images on the boulevards and squares of great cities, using the pavements and street surfaces as their canvas. After World War II, scores of itinerant artists made their living from the unique art of street painting. Currently prestigious cultural festivals in Europe, North and South America celebrate this traditional art form and have become popular attractions for artists, art lovers, and people from all walks of life.

The Pasadena Chalk Festival began in 1993 after a summer intern at the Light Bringer Project attended a street painting festival in Paris and brought back her amazing pictures and observations. The first “Chalk on the Walk” took place at Centennial Square at Pasadena City Hall with over 150 visual artists participating in the first Los Angeles-area event. All proceeds went toward community arts programs and HIV/AIDS resources.

In 2010, The Pasadena Chalk Festival was named the largest street painting festival by the Guinness World Record, welcoming more than 600 artists using over 25,000 sticks of chalk and drawing a crowd of more than 100,000 visitors in one weekend. In fact, previous festivals have attracted artists and design teams from many regions of the country, across Southern California, and virtually every Los Angeles-area community. Leading art schools, museums, and cultural centers are also represented at the festival.

The Pasadena Chalk Festival is produced by The Paseo and the Light Bringer Project, as a financial benefit for the nonprofit arts organization, raising proceeds for vital arts and learning programs in the schools and cultural opportunities for those of all ages. Each artist volunteers up to 20 hours of his or her talent and energies to make this possible.

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