The first Favela Painting project took place in 2005, when artists Haas&Hahn (Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn) painted a large artwork with members of a local community in Rio de Janeiro. Both the local and global impact of this project inspired to continue creating large-scale community art projects across the world.

Over the years Favela Painting has developed into the United Painting Foundation (supporting their own and affiliate projects worldwide). By now, United Painting has become an institution with a fast growing international group of participants on many levels, spreading the message: community art for social change.