Want Denver to pay you to paint a mural? Urban Arts Fund applications are now open.

For the 10th year, Denver Arts and Venues is prepared to pay artists $1,000 to $8,000 through the Urban Arts Fund to paint a mural in Denver.

A mural by Bimmer Torrez on the side of Bella Calla Flower Shop in Whittier. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A mural by Bimmer Torrez on the side of Bella Calla Flower Shop in Whittier. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; mural; public art; whittier;
A mural by Bimmer Torres, funded by the Urban Arts Fund, on the side of Bella Calla Flower Shop in Whittier. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

For the 10th year, Denver Arts and Venues is prepared to pay artists $1,000 to $8,000 through the Urban Arts Fund to paint a mural in Denver.

Applications are now open to individual artists and artist teams with a vision for public art.

The selection process will give preference to “projects incorporating a strong community and youth engagement component,” according to the release, and to proposals for murals in neighborhoods and City Council districts with few or no Urban Arts Fund murals. First-time applicants will also have an edge, and Arts and Venues is encouraging artists from “typically under-represented communities” to apply.

In addition to funding public art, the program is meant to deter graffiti. It was founded for that purpose in 2009 and has since helped created nearly 250 murals in Denver — though it’s not always effective in stopping graffiti.

Over the last decade, Urban Arts Fund money has been awarded largely to neighborhoods dealing with the most graffiti. It’s also largely been awarded to men.

“Denver’s UAF mural program has grown rapidly from when it first started 10 years ago. Our first year, we funded nine murals to help deter graffiti in some of Denver’s ‘graffiti hot spots.’ Last year, we funded more than 80 murals,” Mary Valdez, Denver Public Art Administrator, said in a statement. “The UAF has become an incredible program, drawing attention and talent not only from Denver, but also on a national and international scale.”

Applications are due by 5 p.m. March 19 and selected artists will be notified in April.

To learn more about past murals facilitated by the Urban Arts Fund, go to artsandvenuesdenver.com or poke around this map:

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean is the assistant editor and culture reporter for Denverite. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes bourbon straight and is happy that Kanye seems happy. She dreams of someday holding the title of Nightlife Mayor. Find her at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.