Denver Arts and Venues is seeking applications for this year's Urban Arts Fund, a graffiti prevention program that creates art murals in areas that are frequently tagged. Applications are due March 31.

The Urban Arts Fund has been improving areas frequently attacked by graffiti since 2008, installing art projects by local artists or groups and incorporating youth into the process.

"Self-expression is hugely valued in Denver, and the UAF gives kids a chance to explore their artistic side while also making a positive impact on their communities," Denver Arts and Venues public art program coordinator Mary Valdez said in a statement.

Denver Arts and Venues has a $50,000 budget and artists or groups can apply for between $500 and $5,000 for a particular project. The application is online.

According to Arts and Venues spokesman Dan Rowland, the projects have to be approved by Denver City Council and meet certain guidelines. So far, more than 70 projects have been completed during the program's tenure consisting of more than 60,000 square feet of public area.


One project completed last year was a mural on the west side of the underpass where Park Avenue merges into 38th Avenue and heads into the Highlands. The project was done by local artist Brenda Cleary who enlisted friends, volunteers and students from the Emily Griffith High School to help complete the mural, which has art and poetry from local poets incorporated.

Once a mural is complete, it is rare that area is tagged with graffiti.

"We keep proving time and again that if you create beautiful art in public places, the community responds," Valdez told YourHub in 2013.

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, or