Minneapolis Ward 12 City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy’s newsletter passed along some great news about the return on investments the city has made in graffiti abatement over the past year. Small grants were given out to creative groups to come up with solutions to the ongoing problem:
Graffiti Micro-grants Producing Great Results
The Solid Waste and Recycling department recently presented results from the 2008 graffiti micro-grant program and there were inspiring! The department gave out $136,000 dollars in grants, none for more than $10,000, for the purpose of graffiti reduction, abatement or eradication and grantees invested even more – $364,936 – for half a million dollars to fight graffiti. More than a thousand volunteers donated their time to share information with their community, form quick removal teams to get it down quickly, or create murals and plant living trellises to stop graffiti from happening in the first.
The Longfellow Community Council (LCC) was responsible for two murals and there has not been any graffiti at those sites since the murals were completed. The Standish Ericsson Neighborhood Association (SENA) helped to install 10 murals. They have had very little trouble with graffiti at those sites. Graffiti there has been reduced by 98%.
A wonderful by-product of this project is that it provided an opportunity for neighbors to connect with one another, sometimes across generations. In SENA’s evaluation of the project they wrote, “Community murals are unique in creating a visibly inviting and public project. Those who may not otherwise feel included or interested in community activities for the first time get involved.”
Murals work. East Lake St between Hiawatha and 35W has changed dramatically since murals went in on many walls along that stretch. New additions along Cedar Ave also transformed walls into something interesting rather than gang billboards.