People painting mural on building

Elevating Street Art and Nurturing New Voices

Seattle is taking action against the uptick in harmful graffiti and tagging since the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Harrell’s plan includes combining all resources available city-wide for graffiti removal teams, targeted enforcement and assistance for impacted businesses, and new support for public art and volunteer clean-up efforts.

“Seattle has always been known for its world-class arts scene, and we are tapping into our artists and creative organizations to help us envision our city as a canvas where arts are present in every community, starting with our streetscapes.” - Mayor Bruce Harrell

This approach will balance efforts to activate neighborhoods with community art with enforcement efforts to stop harmful tagging and graffiti and ensure those who deface buildings and spread hate are held responsible.

A key part of this work is the Many Hands Art initiative will encourage young creatives to put their talents to use as street artists, giving youth a safe, sanctioned way to pursue an interest in public art. This new investment in street art will channel Seattle’s creative energy into a positive outlet, giving new opportunities for local artists and visionaries to make public art that adds vibrancy and character to our neighborhoods.

The first project of the Many Hands Initiative was the Spatial Justice through Street Art program, which awarded $400,000 from the Office of Arts and Culture to seven arts organizations for creating street art. Murals will be created across Seattle, in neighborhoods including Ballard, Bitter Lake, Downtown Seattle, Rainier Beach, and SODO. The new art is intended to reflect city-wide values such as creativity, belonging, and community, and will contribute to the art sector’s economy while beautifying the city.

The City is also working closely with communities on neighborhood specific efforts like the partnership with Uplift Northwest to remove harmful and hateful graffiti in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

Mayor Bruce Harrell

Address: 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA, 7th Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94749, Seattle, WA, 98124-4749
Phone: (206) 684-4000

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Seattle's Mayor is the head of the Executive department. The Mayor directs and controls all City offices and departments except where that authority is granted to another office by the City Charter.