Urban Arts Fund Mission

The Urban Arts Fund (UAF) is a graffiti prevention and youth development program funded through Denver Arts & Venues which facilitates the creation of new murals in perpetually vandalized areas throughout the City and County of Denver. The UAF provides access to positive, creative experiences for youth and transforms dilapidated areas into well-tended and active community gathering spaces. Since 2008, with the help of more than 3,000 youth and 600 community participants, the program has facilitated nearly 250 new murals and has helped protect more than 350,000 square feet of walls from vandalism. 

Featured UAF Projects

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2017

    Denver Urban Arts Fund and Denver Health OBHS Partnership

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2017

    Denver Arts & Venues presents the RAW Denver Mural Project

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2016

    HOT DAAM: Denver's Artists and Musicians: Detour and 'duct Work on the I-70 Viaduct

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2015

    Gemma Danielle "City of the Sun" UAF Video

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2015

    Muralist Jet Martinez in collaboration with Black Book Gallery and Denver Public Art Program

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2015

    Denver 8 ArtScene episode featuring VSA Colorado's UAF 2015 Project

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2014

    UAF Projects

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2013

    UAF Projects

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2013

    Jolt with PlatteForum Youth Group

  • Toggle Project Media Element

    2012

    UAF Projects

For Artists

1 Program Background expand to show Program Background

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, Equity, Inclusiveness, and Accessibility
  • Advance community building and social change

A. Eligibility
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.

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 and the 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.