Denver Public Art
Urban Arts Fund Policies 2018
- Program Background
- Mural Definition
- Program Goals
- Program Guidelines
- Identifying Urban Arts Fund Projects
- Selection Process
- Maintenance and Conservation
Denver Arts & Venues (A&V) established the Urban Arts Fund (UAF) in response to graffiti task force recommendations by Mayor Hickenlooper’s administration in 2007. The goal was to create murals in areas that were deemed “graffiti hot spots,” and to provide positive, creative experiences for youth to deter future vandalism. The first mural projects were implemented in 2009. As of December of 2016, the UAF has facilitated nearly 160 murals throughout the City and County of Denver, abated more than 227,000 square feet of vandalized walls, and engaged more than 2,760 youth participants.The UAF program is fully funded by Denver Arts & Venues, however, all projects require matching funds or in-kind donation of goods and/or services. The program may accept donations either to the program as a whole, or to individual initiatives.
For the purposes of the UAF program projects, a mural is defined as a one-of-a-kind work of art, which is hand-created and applied directly to the surface of a physical structure. It may be comprised of paint or a variety of mixed media, including three-dimensional elements, which are graded for exterior use, and harmoniously integrated into the physical structure.
- Deter Graffiti Vandalism
- Foster Meaningful, Creative Experiences for Youth
- Develop Opportunities for Artists
- Ensure Diversity, Inclusiveness, Equity and Accessibility
- Advance community building and social change
Any artist or team of artists demonstrating the ability to execute a successful mural project regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical disability. We encourage emerging artists to apply.
Denver Arts & Venues is committed to diversity, inclusiveness and equity in all programs, initiatives and decision making processes.
Preference will be given to projects with:
- a well-planned youth development and community engagement component
- first time applicants - artists and organizations who have not received funding in previous years
- projects that exist in neighborhoods and Council districts which do not currently have a UAF project
B. Private vs. Public Space
Projects on private property will require permission from the property owner. Projects in public spaces (city property) will require support from the City Council representative as well as approval from the appropriate city agency (Parks & Recreation). All projects are selected by the UAF Steering Committee.
A. Graffiti Hot Spots
UAF projects must focus on a “graffiti hot spot.” A graffiti hotspot is an identified geographical location which is the ongoing target of graffiti vandalism. Photo documentation of graffiti vandalism must accompany each application. See map and examples of previous projects.
B. Locating Graffiti Hot Spots
See map of graffiti hot spots.
The Urban Arts Fund Steering Committee (UAFSC) will review and select UAF projects on an annual basis. The UAFSC is comprised of one member from each of these city departments: Denver Public Works Graffiti Program, Public Art Committee, Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, Denver Community Planning & Development, Denver Parks & Recreation, Mayor’s Office. Additionally, the Steering Committee includes at least one local artist.
The maintenance of UAF mural projects on private property are the sole responsibility of the property owner. For projects on public property, A&V will make every effort to conserve murals within its means to do so. The artist will be given the first opportunity to restore or repair a mural. At its discretion, the City of Denver reserves the right to abate any mural project in a public space.