The funding behind D.C.'s eyecatching artistic murals is one of the most recent coronavirus victims.

As COVID-19 continues throughout the country, and with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser extending stay-at-home orders until early June, more and more disruptions to daily life continue to occur. The most recent for the District has been a halt to a major arts project.

DC mural

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Since 2007, MuralsDC has worked to beautify Washington, D.C., one street at a time. Instead of the graffiti that was once prevalent throughout the city, MuralsDC works to create stunning works of art that showcase local artists on the sides of buildings. By hiring local artists and producing anywhere from 6 to 10 murals a year, the initiative has quickly produced 89 murals.

MuralsDC is funded by the D.C. Department of Public Works, however, due to COVID-19's presence in the nation's capital, funding has had to be diverted away from the program. According to the DCist, MuralsDC is suspending all submissions and applications to next year when funding hopefully resumes. However, those grants that had already been awarded this year will still be paid out.

The program posted a message regarding the suspension on the website:

"Unfortunately, due to the ongoing health emergency and its impact on DC government’s operations and budget, DPW has suspended the MuralsDC 2020 program year. This was not an easy decision as we love supporting artists. We look forward to continuing to beautify our city’s walls soon."

artist painting mural

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Hope is not lost! The National Endowment for the Arts and the federal CARES Act both have funding available to artists and arts organizations. There is hope that the local muralists will get the funding they need to continue their work. Unfortunately, time will tell who is awarded these grants. 

Do you have a favorite D.C. mural? Let us know which one!