URBAN ARTS FUND
Through the award-winning Urban Arts Fund, Denver draws locally, nationally and internationally renowned artists to turn the blank canvases of ordinary urban walls into works of art.
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.
The Urban Arts Fund was expanded in 2017 to encompass several extended programming partnerships connecting artists to the community. This group of immersion projects, known as Urban Arts Fund: Engage, focuses on community-building and social change.
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.
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:
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.