City Walls, spearheaded by Detroit’s General Services Department, employs metro Detroit street artists to produce murals and other art installations on city- and privately owned properties that have historically been targets for illegal graffiti and vandalism, and more.
With a budget of $50,000, the pilot program focuses on:
- The Blight Abatement Artist Residency Program (BAARP), which commissions artists to replace non-commissioned art/vandalism
- The beautification of the viaduct in southwest Detroit
- A program allowing property owners who have received blight tickets to commission murals in lieu of paying the City-sanctioned fine
This is the first time Detroit has undertaken such an endeavor, which strays from the traditional approach of fining businesses and ‘buffing’ graffitied walls; however, other cities around the country have employed similar tactics. In Philadelphia, for example, the Mural Arts program has operated successfully for nearly 35 years.
For participating in Detroit’s program, each artist is being paid $3,000 in exchange for 125 hours of labor. The artists are expected to create at least eight pieces in August and September, as well as donate at least one piece of artwork to the City.
Detroit officials have created a priority list of 20 properties scattered across the the metropolitan area.
Continue to the full, in-depth article from Detroit Free Press.