PAYING IT FORWARD
Despite her young age, Aria Luna is already heavily involved in giving back to the global community.
These are her philanthropic projects past and present:
You may have heard about carbon sequestration or carbon offsets. But have you heard about carbon removal? It’s the idea of literally pulling CO2 right out of the atmosphere and either storing or using it in ways that don’t heat the planet. Just as revolutionary is the idea of travelers making carbon removal a viable business model. Enter Tomorrow’s Air, “the world’s first collective of passionate travellers who clean up carbon from the atmosphere to ensure our air for future generations.”
Aria Luna has been invited to be a part of the group’s revolutionary Artists for Air, creatives who leverage the power of their imagination to spread the word about carbon removal and personal climate action. Watch. this. space!
The International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) is a non profit organization working to protect dolphins, whales, and the ocean ecosystem. Their work is nothing short of phenomenal: they pioneered the “Dolphin Safe” tuna fishing standard that helps stop the intentional chasing and netting of dolphins. And remember Keiko the orca, made famous in the film Free Willy? IMPP directed Keiko’s historic rescue and release. They’re fighting to end the tragic slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, as featured in the Academy Award–winning movie The Cove. Just as important is their work to stop all trade in live dolphins and end the captivity of whales and dolphins for circus and aquarium performances.
In October 2020, Aria Luna won first place in the Youth category in the IMMP x Klean Kanteen Orca Art Challenge. The prizes included a Klean Kanteen water bottle and a tote bag. Aria Luna and her mama felt they already had plenty of things, and thought of a better way to pay it forward: to embellish the bottle and tote and sell them, with the proceeds going straight back to IMMP. This project is now in production.
In December 2020, the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund was introduced to Aria Luna with the idea of a collaboration to help them raise funds for a number of ecotourism projects throughout the world that were in trouble of shutting down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The very real danger was that the people who normally make their living via sustainable tourism, would be forced to go back to extractive activities like mining or logging to survive.
Aria Luna donated several of her fine art prints and greeting cards as thank-you gifts, and by January 2021, her art helped raise over $2600 for the campaign.
The ongoing plight of the immigrant families from Latin America has impacted Aria Luna not just as a child but also as a young Latina. To express her outrage, she painted Exodus, a heart-wrenching metaphor of the Scylla-and-Charybdis situation many refugee children and their families find themselves in: escape the inhumane conditions of the detention centers only to face the swirling currents of trauma and uncertainty that are likely to take years to resolve.
We are raising funds to support the organizations working night and day, on the ground, to a.) reunite the immigrant families separated from their children and b.) provide them with the resources and care they need to lead healthy and happy lives. Limited Edition prints of Exodus are now on sale—100% of net proceeds support organizations like Families Belong Together, RAICES, Al Otro Lado, and others.
In the fall of 2017, wildfires raged in northern California. Around the same time, Aria Luna was invited to participate in her first public art exhibit at the Cubberley Community Center. She created a modular mural depicting an epic dragon battle and called it Dragon Storm. Sales of Aria Luna’s greeting cards at the event—including characters from Dragon Storm—helped raise funds for Latino communities in the Santa Rosa area impacted by the fires, and were donated to the Latino Community Foundation.
In the spring of 2018, Aria Luna donated a signed poster of Fynn the Sea Dragon to the Huntington Arts Council in New York for their 55th Anniversary gala event silent auction, to raise funds for their art programs.
Aria Luna’s very first donation was a gift of 20 posters of Fynn the Sea Dragon to the 1st international March for the Ocean in Washington, DC, organized by David Helvarg and the Blue Frontier Campaign on June 9, 2018. A deeply meaningful gesture, as Fynn is one of the Guardians of the Sea in Aria Luna’s story about Bogo Mogo the plastic monster.