San Francisco spends approximately $22 million annually on graffiti cleanup; the Department of Public Works (DPW) alone spends $3.8 million annually on graffiti cleanup. During these trying economic times, think of the positive impact these funds could have if used on education or other needed initiatives.
As a response, the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and DPW created StreetSmARTS, which is comprised of two programs:
Where Art Lives places trained urban artists in public schools to teach youth the difference between public art and graffiti vandalism, which is simply permission. The curriculum concludes with a mural-painting project created by students.
StreetSmARTS mural program connects established urban artists with private property owners to create vibrant art and make the property less likely to be vandalized.
SFAC created a pool of established urban artists. Participating private property owners may select an artist from that pool to create an original mural on their property, aligning with the neighborhood’s aesthetic.
Each mural is carefully vetted through the following process:
- The artist must submit a color rendering with dimensions for both the property owner and SFAC staff to review.
- The colored rendering is then presented to the SFAC’s Visual Arts Committee for final approval
- The property owner must also sign letter of approval.
- The artist must sign an agreement and Waiver of Property Owner Rights for the artwork to be painted on property.
- The City will work with the property owner to devise a mural maintenance plan.
There will be a January 2014 Call for StreetSmARTS. Artists who are interested in submitting work should sign up for the CAE e-Newsletter. Property owners who are interested in having a mural placed on one of your exterior walls should contact Tyra Fennell at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the full property address in the correspondence. Priority will be given to properties in Chinatown, Bayview, Bernal Heights, Mission, Tenderloin, and Central Market neighborhoods, which are close to Where Art Lives school sites.
For more information on San Francisco Department of Public Works click here.