The Denver Office of Cultural Affairs (DOCA) is pleased to announce the creation of the Denver Urban Arts Fund (UAF). The purpose of the UAF is to prevent graffiti vandalism by generating positive, well-tended and active community gathering spaces, and by producing opportunities for young people to participate in diversionary art and leadership programs.

The grants awarded through the program will focus on measurable outcomes related to the prevention of graffiti vandalism and will become an ongoing project to involve artists in building strong communities.

“The creation of the Denver Urban Arts Fund recognizes that, in this time of economic recession, artists have a role in building and preserving strong communities and that the job of an artist is no less important than any other profession supported by our efforts to stimulate the economy,” stated Mayor John Hickenlooper.

The UAF will provide small grant funds ($500 to $7,500) for programs that: help reclaim a graffiti hot spot and create a positive community space; and help create and increase youth access and exposure to positive and monitored alternatives and support systems, including positive arts opportunities.

“Addressing graffiti vandalism is the number one priority for City Council this year, of which prevention is a key piece,” stated Councilwoman Judy Montero, chair of the Graffiti Task Force. “I’m excited to have the chance to employ artists to help us revitalize our important community gathering spaces through the Denver Urban Arts Fund,” she added.

The Denver Urban Arts Fund is an outgrowth of the Graffiti Task Force recommendations. The recommendations support the role of prevention as an important component, along with abatement and enforcement, of reducing graffiti vandalism in Denver.

UAF policies and application procedures are available at www.denvergov.org/DOCA or 720-865-4302. Applications accepted through September 15.