Utah couple travels to Rio de Janeiro to help revitalize art center

Utah couple travels to Rio de Janeiro to help revitalize art center

(Courtesy of Justin Taylor)

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PROVO — A wedding anniversary trip to Brazil turned out to be anything but relaxing for a couple from Utah County, after they spent most of the time helping to revitalize an art center.

Running a household with four young children can be pretty hectic. Sunny Taylor and her husband, Justin, were looking forward to a getaway.

When the two wanted to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary and Sunny’s 40th birthday, they chose the colorful and lively Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It’s where Sunny served a church service mission 20 years ago, and a place they’ve been wanting to visit.

Instead of beaches and relaxation, they went to the “slums” of the city to showcase their artwork.

Through a non-profit organization in the United States called Community in Action, they agreed to help paint murals to liven up the area.

Much of the trip had to do with a man they met named Soca. He was trying to revitalize an art center for kids, which he believed would pull them out of poverty and crime.

“He strongly believes in the power of art to cure people. I never believed that until I went there,” said Sunny.

Both are very talented and unique artists in their own way. Sunny is inspired by architecture and patterns. Justin is into filmmaking and oil painting.

Despite nine long days of hard work, the couple said it was their best vacation ever.

“It turned out to be perfect. It was a total dream come true,” said Sunny.

“Every day we came home exhausted and dirty and gross,” said Justin.

The couple made memories they said would last a lifetime.

“It was such an amazing trip. We planned to go back this next year, and hopefully every year after,” said Sunny.

The Taylors have put together a YouTube video of their trip. They hope to bringing attention to the unknown area of town in hopes of doing their part in bringing it back to life.

“I want to help them. I want to help them achieve what they’re trying to achieve, because I see that it is it’s actually making a really big difference,” said Sunny.

Who would have thought a wedding anniversary trip to the slums of Rio would be so fulfilling?

“This is really literally the first time in my life where I believed that art had the power to like, change or uplift or move people,” said Sunny.

The Taylors have also set up a GoFundMe account* for those wanting to help.

*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.


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