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More Murals Replacing Graffiti-Defaced Neighborhood Walls; DPW and Arts Commission Initiative Continues

Accompanying images can be viewed on page 1 of the September 2018 issue pdf

By P.L. Wolff

Since 2007, the District’s on-going initiative known as MuralsDC has been providing permanent graffiti abatement to building walls that have continually been defaced by graffiti or are located in places where the risk of this type of vandalism is prevalent.

Within a few weeks, eight new inspirational and lively murals will have been completed, bringing the total city-wide to 70 and adding welcome antidotes to previously blighted neighborhood street-facing wall surfaces.

MuralsDC is a collaborative undertaking between the Department of Public Works (DPW), which funds this project, and the Commission on the Arts and Humanities which is responsible for vetting the artists and making the final selections.

Artists are invited to participate through an annual solicitation issued by arts and humanities commission which uses DPW’s funding to provide grants to artists who are ultimately matched with a wall. Commercial property owners can donate their wall year-round by sending a request for consideration to [email protected]

DPW Director Christopher Shorter says his department considers this program as “an effective tool for preventing graffiti vandalism and a great way to support and sustain our city’s vibrant arts culture.” Further, “We make sure that every mural captures the energy of the neighborhood it lives in and look forward to unveiling the new visual representations of our city and its history over the coming weeks.”

Images of every mural painted since the program began in 2007 can be viewed on the project’s new website <> which also features videos, artist information, and a map locator to show where to find the more than 50 murals throughout the District.