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Columbia Heights Murals Tagged With Graffiti


“Dear PoP,

I just walked past the gorgeous mural on Irving in between 11th and 13th and noticed that some jerkwad spray painted my favorite part! I’m so pissed!

Here’s wishing that 2010 is better than 2009.”

Very upsetting. It also appears that the mural at Bloombars on nearby 11th Street was also tagged, though already fixed.


From a Bloombars Facebook message:

“Some of you may have heard the unfortunate news that the mural on the side of our space was defaced by gang tags. It is sad bit of news that everyone does not share the same appreciation for something that brought so much joy to the neighborhood.

Your gut reaction might be anger and disappointment. But we ask that you set aside those feelings and see this as an opportunity to focus attention on one of the greatest challenges facing our community—young people choosing unproductive and destructive ways to spend their time.

It begs the question: Do you believe there are enough creative and productive alternatives for young people that support their growth and development?

If your answer was no, we ask that you explore ways that you can help lend some of your time to address this challenge—A challenge that will not go away with letters to elected officials or complaints to the police.

As you know, BloomBars has been working to be a part of the solution. Our most recent efforts include programming like Guitars not Guns and Poetry in the Morning. And with your support, ideas, and resources, we hope to offer many more opportunities for youth in 2010. In addition, we would love for our space to serve as a meeting place where you can engage your neighbors in a dialog about this and other challenges facing our community, so be on the lookout for an invitation to our first organized community forum.

It’s important to note that there are also several other organizations here in Columbia Heights whose footsteps we follow, like the Latin American Youth Center, and the Emergence Community Arts Collective. We hope you will also look for ways to support these fantastic organizations.

Back to the issue of the gang tags. I’ve spoken to Joel Bergner, the muralist, who has offered to fix the damage. We’re also bouncing around ideas to create a program to introduce the youth who have been doing the tagging to art of murals. But again, these efforts can only be successful with your support.”

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