(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the Anacostia Business Improvement District (BID) and various community and District officials to unveil the first of over a dozen murals being painted as part of the inaugural MuralsDC Anacostia project. Sponsored by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), this project continues the ongoing celebration of, and investment in, the Anacostia Arts and Culture District established in February 2023.
“Anacostia has always been a focal point for DC’s culture, creative expression, and history,” said Mayor Bowser. “Projects like this allow local artists to showcase their talent and Ward 8 pride, and for the community to provide a new destination for residents and visitors who want to experience the developing, vibrant talent East of the River.”
The MuralsDC Anacostia project is the latest effort by the Bowser Administration to support the Anacostia creative community, following the establishment of the Anacostia Arts and Culture District and an almost $4 million grant awarded to the Anacostia BID earlier this year.
Established in 2007, MuralsDC is dedicated to supporting the development and growth of local artists throughout DC and has supported local artists in creating over 165 original works on public facing buildings in all eight wards. With the goal of combatting illegal graffiti with public art projects, MuralsDC has received $100,000 in annual funding from the Department of Public Works (DPW), including a $200,000 investment in 2023 to support the Anacostia Arts and Culture District with identifying artists and locations for local murals.
“Thanks to DMPED’s additional funding, MuralsDC was able to triple its scope and provide opportunities for more than a dozen local muralists,” said DPW Director Timothy Spriggs. “This mural is just one of many conversation pieces MuralsDC will be creating in Ward 8, including what will be the community’s largest mural at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue and Good Hope Road—two of Anacostia’s most travelled corridors.”
The 40-foot, wrap-around mural unveiled today at Sandlot Anacostia, 633 Howard Road SE, was created by artist Federico (MasPaz) Frum. The design, which the artist says is a tribute to humanity, wraps around several metal container structures and is painted in the artist’s signature indigenous, abstract contemporary style.
At the unveiling, the Anacostia BID also launched its two new “Art to Go-Go” shuttles. The vehicles—wrapped with art by local artist Luis Peralta Del Valle—will provide free transportation across the Anacostia community, with stops in Skyland, at the Anacostia metro station, and throughout the Anacostia Arts and Culture District.
“The ability to bring more opportunity for mural artists into DC’s Arts and Culture District in partnership with MuralsDC is a wonderful opportunity,” said Anacostia BID Executive Director Kristina Noell. “It gives us the opportunity to not only showcase our organic arts and culture, but to also preserve our history and become the destination marketing driver that this community needs and wants.”
Since its establishment by Mayor Bowser in February 2023, grants and funding provided to the Anacostia Arts and Culture District has already resulted in:
- New street light banners highlighting and celebrating artists in Anacostia.
- Events including Spoken Word to Go-Go, Flower, Anacostia Jazz Hop, and increased Art All Night activations in Anacostia.
- Development of a streetscape plan that incorporates public art.
Today’s event was one of dozens being held across the District during 202 Creates, the city’s annual month-long celebration of artists and creatives in DC.
The month wraps up this week with the Mayor’s Arts Awards on September 28, the World Culture Event from September 29 – October 1, and District-wide Art All Night activations on September 29-30.