Denver’s Urban Arts Fund announces funding for dozens of new murals

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Denver Urban Arts Fund. Cherry Creek Trail, March 23, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Two dozen artists and artist groups will receive Urban Arts Fund grants to paint murals around the city, Denver Arts & Venues announced today.

Sixteen of the grantees are Colorado-based and eight of them are from Denver. The hometown cohort includes Melanie Kerwin, Leslie Minnis, VSA/Access Gallery with Josiah Lopez and Javier Lopez, Youth Employment Academy Students, Annie Holyfield and Miguel Robledo aka MPek, Casey Kawaguchi, Daniel Chavez and Anthony Garcia Sr./Birdseed Collective, according to a press release. They'll receive between $1,000 and $8,000 each for their work.

The Urban Arts Fund was created 10 years ago as an effort to deter graffiti, but has since grown to include community building, fostering creative experiences for youth and giving local artists opportunities among its goals.

The application process, which began back in March, encourages emerging artists from diverse backgrounds to apply. Priority is given to first-time applicants, projects planned for neighborhoods and Council districts that don't already have an Urban Arts Fund project and projects with a well-planned youth development and community engagement component.

And to that end, Arts & Venues last year expanded the program to add Urban Arts Fund: Engage, a joint grant program that "focuses on community-building and social change," according to the press release. Among the last round of UAF: Engage projects was a partnership with  Re-Imagining Arts Worldwide in which more than 30 local, national and international artists painted the exterior walls of Eagleton, Cowell and Fairview elementary schools in Denver.

Denver's own Beloved, Frank Garza and Jonathan Lamb are among the 27 artists receiving UAF: Engage grants. That group includes Shepard Fairey.

“Through community partnerships, UAF: Engage supports our agency’s diversity, equity and inclusiveness initiative. These efforts go beyond merely outreach,” Denver Arts & Venues director of cultural affairs Tariana Navas-Nieves said in a statement. “It’s about commitment; it’s about engagement; it’s about amplifying the voices of the community.”

Here's the full list of 2018 Urban Arts Fund grant recipients:

  • Melanie Kerwin, Denver
  • Ahmad Alwazzan a.k.a. Balance, Kuwait
  • Eulalio Alvarez a.k.a. Scotch, Manitou Springs
  • Yulia Avgustinovich, Lakewood
  • Leslie Minnis, Denver
  • Katerina Vuletich, Broomfield
  • Jerry and Jay Jaramillo (father and son), Thornton
  • Jason Garcia, Boulder
  • VSA/Access Gallery, Josiah Lopez and Javier Duran, Denver
  • Youth Employment Academy students, Denver
  • Annie Holyfield and Miguel Robledo a.k.a. MPek, Denver
  • Victoriano Rivera, Centennial
  • Casey Kawaguchi, Denver
  • DINKC Galicia, Centennial
  • Daniel Chavez, Denver
  • Anthony J. Garcia Sr./Birdseed Collective, Denver
  • Seymon Gurule a.k.a. UcSepia Ozjuah, Thornton
  • Chad Hasegawa, San Francisco
  • Elle Street Art, Netherlands, Australia
  • David Louf a.k.a. mr.JUNE, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Mari Shibuya and Ashley Foreman, Seattle
  • Gina Franco, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Rahmann Barnes, Chicago
  • Donald Rissler and Kara Higgins, Seattle

And here's the full list 2018 Urban Arts Fund: Engage grant recipients:

  • Jonathan Lamb, Denver
  • Pipsqueak Was Here!, Amsterdam
  • Shepard Fairey, Los Angeles
  • The London Police, Amsterdam
  • David Louf a.k.a. mr.JUNE, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Trek 6, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Luis Berros, Miami
  • Amanda Valdes, Miami
  • JC Rivera, Chicago
  • Otto Schade, Concepcion, Chile
  • Bikismo, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
  • Birdo, Toronto
  • Jazz Guetta, Los Angeles
  • FL Mngo, Miami
  • Dean McKeever, Boston
  • Kevin Ledo, Montreal
  • FinDAC, London
  • Word to Mother, London
  • Eric Skotnes, Los Angeles
  • INO, Athens, Greece
  • Paola Delfin, Mexico City
  • Dale Grimshaw, London
  • Zeus, London
  • Kai, Los Angeles
  • Santiago Rubino, Miami
  • Belove, Denver
  • Frank Garza, Denver

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