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City of Durham News

Posted on: June 10, 2021

Durham Receives Grant to Promote Cigarette Butt Litter Prevention with Public Art

Pre-qualified artist registry - apply now for an upcoming public art project

Artists Interested in Creating Ground Plane Murals Encouraged to Apply by July 9

Tired of seeing cigarette butts littering the ground at some GoDurham bus stop shelters? New public artwork promoting litter prevention will soon be popping up at three shelters thanks to a recent grant.

The City of Durham Cultural and Public Art Program in partnership with Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) have received a $15,000 grant from South Arts to promote litter prevention through creative public art at three GoDurham bus stop shelters. These bus stops are located at Fulton Street directly in front of the Durham VA Medical Center; Erwin Road at Fulton Street; and East Main Street at Dillard Street near the Durham County Human Services Building.

Durham’s grant award will fund the creation of new ground plane murals that encourage residents to decrease cigarette butt litter and act as advocacy agents around litter prevention in their community. The City’s Cultural and Public Art Program and KDB will work closely with a selected artist or artist team to design temporary ground plane murals around the bus shelter locations in summer 2021. These new shelters will also include newly installed ash receptacles and ballot bins as a way to encourage residents to reduce litter. Ballot bins are customizable ashtrays with clear glass fronts that display a question and two answers for smokers to vote on by putting their cigarette butts into one of the answer slots underneath. 

One artist or artist team will be selected to design and install three ground-plane mural artworks. The total maximum budget for this project is $12,500, including artist-design, community engagement, fabrication, installation, and documentation of the artwork on site. The additional $2,500 provided by the grant will be allocated toward community engagement materials and additional materials for place-making activities. Artists and artist teams interested in applying for this public art project should submit their applications to the City’s Pre-Qualified Artists Registry by Friday, July 9. 

South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists and arts organizations through an array of grants, fellowships, and programs. South Arts uses its Cross-Sector Impact Grant Program to provide support to projects that harness the power of the arts as an agent for change. Durham’s project is funded in part by a grant from this South Arts program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.

For more information about this project, contact Cultural and Public Art Program Manager Rebecca Brown with the City’s General Services Department at (912) 398-8075 or by email.

About the Cultural and Public Art Program 

The Cultural and Public Art Program believes that Durham’s rich cultural heritage is an important part of what makes Durham’s neighborhoods thrive, attracts tourism and business development, and what brings the community closer together. The Program works to invest and create public art experiences – both downtown and in neighborhoods – that illuminate residents’ history, sparks reflection and dialogue, and enhances daily life. Under the Arts, Culture, and Sustainable Communities Division within the General Services Department, the program manages two public advisory bodies, the Cultural Advisory Board and the Public Art Committee, which serve the City Council and the City Manager on matters related to the development of cultural assets and public art. To further help artists connect with opportunities, the City has a Durham Calls for Artists webpage, which lists a number of upcoming opportunities for artists in and around Durham. Artists and other stakeholders who would like to be notified of current and future art-related opportunities and news can now sign up for alerts through the Cultural and Public Art mailing list

About Keep Durham Beautiful

Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, follow on Facebook, Instagram, flickr, and Twitter.

About South Arts  

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South.