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Murals DC Seeks Graffiti and Aerosol Artists for 2020 Season

Posted by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Murals DC Seeks Graffiti and Aerosol Artists for 2020 Season




The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH), in partnership with the DC Department of Public Works (DPW), seeks graffiti and aerosol mural artists and artist teams to design, create and install aerosol murals as part of the MuralsDC program.

BUDGET: $10,000 to $25,000

ELIGIBILITY: Artists over 18 who are U.S. citizens or otherwise legally able to work in the U.S.

DEADLINE: April 17, 2020, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time

Download full RFQ here.

Project Description

The MuralsDC program was established to replace illegal graffiti with artistic works, revitalize sites within communities in the District of Columbia, and to teach young people the art of aerosol painting.  This initiative aims to positively engage the District’s youth by teaching proper professional art techniques, providing supplies, and a legal means to practice and perform artistic skills in a way that promotes respect for public and private property and community awareness.  There are nearly 90 MuralsDC projects across all eight wards of the District of Columbia.

Selected artists will be expected to engage designated youth (ages 14-18) to help them understand the art of aerosol graffiti mural painting and provide youth with opportunities to assist in activities such as site preparation and mural outlining.


  • March 13, 2020: Call for Graffiti Mural Artists Issued
  • April 17, 2020 (4:00 PM EDT): Graffiti Mural Artists Deadline
  • May 2020: Application Review
  • May 15, 2020: Final Artist Selections and Notifications
  • May/June 2020: Site and Artist Assignments
  • May – July: Mural Concept Design Discussion and Approvals
  • July 20, 2020: Final Approval of Mural Designs
  • July – September 2020: Installation of Murals
  • September 16 -23, 2020: Mural Completion Inspections

Selection Process

The selection process consists of two stages. CAH will convene a MuralsDC Artist Selection Panel, representing diverse arts-related backgrounds and expertise to review the qualified applications.

Stage One: The Artist Selection Panel will review and evaluate each application based on artist selection criteria/work samples and will recommend a roster of Finalists to the MuralsDC staff to be considered for a site-specific project.

Stage Two: MuralsDC Staff will approve the roster of finalists and will work to create appropriate matches between artist/artist teams and site owners. Upon selection of the final artist/artist team for a site, the artist and site owner will develop a scope of work and project budget to reflect their design approach for the mural site. MuralsDC Staff will review and approve the final artist/artist team’s scope of work and budget.

Selection Criteria

Artist selection will be based on artistic merit, community impact and ability to manage a large scale mural project based upon the following:

  • High quality and reflection of graffiti or Hip-Hop aesthetic as demonstrated in submitted work samples;
  • Ability to create a work that responds to community input of theme or content;
  • Adaptability to the collaborative process of mural design;
  • Demonstrate previous experience creating and managing large scale aerosol mural projects;
  • Ability to create site-specific artwork that is responsive to the opportunities and constraints of the site;
  • Availability to complete mural installation by September 21, 2020. The mural painting period will run from July-September.
  • Artistic Content – 60%: Work samples are critical to each application and are carefully considered during application review. CAH strongly recommends that applicants pay close attention to the content of work sample submissions. Advisory panelists must review at least one work sample from each applicant(s).
  • Previous Experience/Management + Sustainability – 25%
  • Community Impact and Engagement/Support Materials – 15%

What to Submit

  1. Work Sample(s) :  Individual Artist – Submit digital images or videos of up to ten (10) different works.  Artist team – Submit up to twenty (20) digital images or videos of different works. Select recent, high quality samples that showcase aerosol mural art work. Upload pictures as JPG files (less than 20MB, minimum resolution of 72 dpi). In video work samples longer than five (5) minutes, indicate the time where you would like panelists to begin viewing (e.g. “View beginning at time 10:30 from video start”). A website will only be considered a work sample only if it is an essential part of showcasing your ability and execution of a mural project. For websites, provide all passwords or include any necessary information required to view your work sample, such as plug-ins or navigation paths (hyperlinks). Ensure that the website links or online materials are functional and accessible through, at minimum, September 30, 2020.
  2. Image Identification List: Applicants must create an image identification list of the samples uploaded and should arrange the list in the order of viewing preference. Title the page with the words “Annotated Image List” and the applicant’s name. For each image, include the Title, Material, Dimensions, Year, Budget, Location of artwork, and how many days/hours it took to complete. Digital images must be numbered to correspond with the Image Identification List.
  3. Resume or CV: one for each artist or team member
  4. Professional References & Letters of Support/Recommendation: Include two (2) professional references that lists names, addresses, phone number and email address; Include two (2) letters of support/recommendation. (One (1) page maximum per letter, per person)
  5. Support Materials: News articles and/or Media coverage, promotional videos, exhibition reviews, certificates or awards
  6. Compliance forms: Arrest and Conviction Statement Form, List of Insurance Carriers Form, Statement of Certification. These forms are available at
  7. Signed IRS W-9 form
  8. Clean Hands Certificate: Non-DC Resident Applicants are required to obtain a “clean hands” certificate, which verifies that there is no debt owed to the District of Columbia of more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for fees, fines, taxes or penalties. Applicants are encouraged to start this process to obtain a Clean Hands Certificate immediately, as the process could take up to 10 business days to complete. Here are the steps to obtain CCH as a non-resident:
  • Send an email to to request a Certificate of Clean Hands.
  • State in your email that you are not a DC resident and you are applying for a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
  • Provide the last four digits of your Tax ID Number (i.e. SSN)
  • Communicate your timeline for submission to CAH. CAH suggests setting your deadline a week before the grant submission is due.
  • Attach to your email a copy of your out of state driver’s license or identification card.
  • Ask for a “manual” Clean Hands Certificate.

How to Submit

All materials must be received by Friday, April 17, 2020 at 4 pm (EDT). Applications are only accepted from the online application portal. If you are new to the system, you must create a (free) account. CAH does not accept mailed, emailed or hand-delivered copies of applications and/or the required attachments. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered or reviewed.

CAH will accept reasonable accommodation requests from applicants with disabilities in advance of the application due date to assist them in submitting grant applications via mail, email or hand-delivery. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact CAH and await request approval.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Alissa Maru at or 202-724-5613.


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