Friday, August 13, 2010

Graffiti Abatement: Murals target tagging hotspots

Denver is experimenting with grants to local arts programs to create murals at graffiti hotspots, reports the Denver Post ("Programs give graffiti arts a legitimate outlet," Aug. 13):
Aimed at reclaiming graffiti hot spots from taggers, these urban-arts programs are among 12 that have just received grants, ranging from $500 to $7,500, from the Denver Office of Urban Affairs.

The program started in 2009, one of the recommendations of the Graffiti Task Force.

"We looked at where murals were put up, and the radius around them, to see if graffiti increased or decreased," said Regina Huerter, co-coordinator of the Graffiti Task Force and executive director of the Denver Commission on Crime Prevention and Control.

There was a noticeable decrease — enough to spur creation of a program that in 2009 yielded nine projects that attracted 300 kids, about 80 percent of whom stuck with the programs.

Many of the programs asked for signed anti-graffiti pledges and recruited professional urban artists to mentor the participants.
The programs grew out of ideas developed in a set of 2007 recommendations (pdf) from a "Graffiti Task Force" in the Mile High City.

See related Grits posts:


Anonymous said...

This actually worked well right out in front of your old high school alma mater for years.


Gritsforbreakfast said...

True that! And FWIW, before the mural was there the concrete embankment you're talking about was a perennial target.

It doesn't stop it completely, but then neither does arresting people.

Anonymous said...

"In 2007, the graffiti abatement unit painted over more than 16,000 pieces of graffiti in Austin.

It's estimated that graffiti in Austin causes more than half-a-million dollars in damage every year."

I think there's more to it than that. In the city where I used to live the citizens spent a large sum of their earnings on an attractive neighborhood park near where I lived. It was a place of tranquility, it served as an oasis and it was well used. That was fifteen years ago.

When the neighborhood began to change slightly a group of kids tagged the place. Following this first tagging episode there was no response from city government. The city budget was tight. Use of the park dropped off and the kids apparently saw this lack of response as some sort of signal. Their next step was to vandalize and hack away at the artistic wooden and stone aspects of the structure.

Even more people shunned the place and it became a hangout. The city finally responded and painted over the taggings and when they restored the structure they didn't bother with the artistic aspects but only restored it to a utilitarian looking place without any of the previous charm. The city (and the citizens) never did get out in front of the destroy/restore curve and the kids had their way. I drive by occasionally but I am no longer saddened by this new vision of a neighborhood park. I guess that's just the way thing go.

Anonymous said...

People hung out there, then graffiti came and (other) people hung out there--all this over a 15 yr interval. Dog bites man.

On Forest Ln in Dallas there is a wall near WTWhite HS that has been a mural for almost as long as I can remember, and for 35 yrs graffiti free. I remember, barely, the wall before the mural was a graffiti magnet. More proof of your claim.

Anonymous said...

Our Park Department is looking to implement a graffiti wall/mural. Does anyone know of one? How was it put together with policies and maintenance?