the arts

Tacoma Murals Project

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Program Overview

The Tacoma Murals Project joins artists and communities through the collaborative process of mural-making to create powerful artworks that can transform public spaces, neighborhood identities, and individual lives.

The project is structured to teach talented adult artists how to work with communities to design and implement high quality murals that are technically and aesthetically successful. Training involves a series of classroom sessions and ‘hands-on’ experience creating murals with community input.

After completion of training workshops, teams of qualified artists, lead by teaching artists, are paired with community groups selected to participate. Each artist team designs and implements a mural that reflects the stories and content researched from the community. Murals are designed to fight blight and combat vandalism in select neighborhoods in Tacoma.

The community groups are provided with funding to complete a mural, an artist team to implement ideas, technical assistance, and general promotion of the project. In return, the selected community groups assist the artist team through community coordination, input of stories and content, and maintenance of the mural after its completion. 

This program is an initiative of the Graffiti Reduction Through Community Based Art team, part of the City of Tacoma’s Safe, Clean & Attractive effort.

Completed Murals

Fifteen murals have been completed between 2010 and October 2012. Visit the Completed Murals page for photos and more information.

Or, take your own self-guided tour of the murals using this Community Walk map.

Mural Artist Roster

Rachael Dotson
Jeremy Gregory
Joni Joachims
Christopher Jordan
Kelda Martensen
Marlin Peterson
Brad Pugh
Chris Sharp
Kenji Stoll


Deadline: May 28, 2013

The City of Tacoma is seeking community groups who would like a mural painted in their neighborhood to fight blight and combat vandalism. Through the Tacoma Murals Project, community groups will work with artists or artist teams who will design and implement high quality murals. Artists/artist teams will develop mural designs based on their aesthetics as artists and based on the input from the community regarding theme or messages.

Click here for full details and application (Word document)
Click here for full details and application (PDF)


Stay Informed

Questions? Contact Amy McBride, 253.591.5192 or

Safe, Clean & Attractive

Tacoma's Safe, Clean & Attractive effort was born in April 2008, when then City Manager Eric Anderson asked city employees to work with community members in tackling two major challenges: making Tacoma safer by reducing crime within the city by 50 percent, and making Tacoma cleaner by removing nuisances, debris and junk vehicles. The Graffiti Reduction Through Community Based Art team was created in 2009 as an extension of this effort. 

The team aims to connect community with professional artists and technical assistance to create beautiful, diverse, and enduring community-based art projects in areas that are identified as prime graffiti sites.


Community Based Services Program
Neighborhood Council Program
Tacoma Arts Commission
Metro Parks Tacoma
Neighborhood Business District Program

Case Studies

Artworks is a successful community-based mural program that empowers young people through professional opportunities in the arts. For over a decade, thousands of Artworks-trained youth have completed over 100 murals throughout the Seattle area—many for businesses and public facilities—while fostering a new sense of self-esteem and value for their city.

The City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program began in 1984 as a city-wide initiative to eradicate graffiti and address neighborhood blight. Today, this nationally recognized public/private initiative engages youth, artists and more than 100 communities each year in the creation of murals that revitalize public spaces and reflect the culture of Philadelphia's neighborhoods.

San Francisco
, a joint effort between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works, connects established urban artists with private property owners to combat graffiti through the creation of vibrant murals that reflect neighborhood aesthetics.