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Get Ready for Less Graffiti and More Murals

by Prince Of Petworth June 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm 9 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, as part of Back to Basics DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off Washington, DC’s second annual “Great Graffiti Wipeout,” an eight-week initiative to remove graffiti and illegal tagging around Washington, DC. The Mayor also announced that the location of the kickoff, a retail space and recording studio near 6th Street and T Street, NW, has been selected as the next MuralsDC site. MuralsDC is a collaborative initiative between the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities that replaces graffiti-ridden walls with original works of art.

The Mayor was joined at the event by the Director of the Department of Public Works Christopher Shorter and the Director of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities Arthur Espinoza.

“MuralsDC is a tremendous program, and this year we are excited to not only expand the program and bring one mural to each ward, but to have the community helping us identify future project sites. Residents know their neighborhoods best, and they know which locations are hit hardest by graffiti,” said Mayor Bowser. “Back to Basics DC is about emphasizing how the government can work hand-in-hand with the community to keep Washington, DC a great place to live, and over the next few weeks we will work together to wipe out graffiti in every ward.”

Since 2007, MuralsDC has produced dozens of murals across Washington, DC. The program has been highly effective in ending the cycle of tagging on many walls, which has resulted in significant cost savings for both the District and business owners. This year, the Bowser Administration is asking residents and property owners to help identify future MuralsDC sites by tweeting photos of graffiti-ridden walls to @dcdpw using #NominateMyWall. The MuralsDC program will create at least one mural in each ward, and emphasizes that walls that are highly visible to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, in good condition, and located on commercial property are ideal project sites.

In recognition of the ten-year anniversary of MuralsDC, in fiscal year 2017, the Commission on the Arts and Humanities matched DPW’s $100,000 investment in the program, doubling MuralsDC’s funding to $200,000. Typically, MuralsDC is able to complete five to seven murals per year, but with the increased funding, DPW expects to complete 10 murals in 2017. Later this month, MuralsDC will celebrate the dedication of one of the program’s most well-known projects – the Ben’s Chili Bowl mural.

During last year’s graffiti blitz, DPW crews cleaned more than 700 graffiti markings and removed more than 2,000 posters and stickers from public spaces. Throughout 2016, the District spent more than a quarter of a million dollars fighting graffiti.

“DPW responds to more than 40,000 requests to remove graffiti and posters each year,” said DPW Director Shorter. “This year, as our abatement team works across the District, we will have a laser focus on those corridors hit the hardest.”

The Great Graffiti Wipeout campaign schedule is as follows:

  • MadMax

    This is great. I was bummed MuralsDC didn’t do residential projects [still trying to find an artist for our wall, as several have expressed interest but then disappear], but twice the murals in a year rocks!

    • Madmax – Depending on what you’re looking for, I can execute a mural on a private wall!
      Contact me via mahajohn.com if you think the styles I work with suit your tastes. I’m pretty inexpensive too.

      • MadMax

        Cool, thanks John, I’ll take a look!

    • V

      Is that a new change? Tin Can at 3609 13 St NW was a Mural DC project. Big fan of James Bullough’s murals throughout DC.


      • MadMax

        Not sure about new or not, but that was told directly to me by one of their representatives.

        • textdoc

          Maybe they do residential projects only if those particular sites are graffiti-plagued?

  • Joshua

    They should use some of that dough to hire someone to paint “sucks” under all these tags.

    • Truxton Thomas

      Just tell me where I can send my donation.

  • JohnH

    I really wish all the hipsters and such would stop going around and putting stickers all over my utility boxes. Just because you think they look cool doesn’t make them art or wanted.


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