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Call for Artists: San Lorenzo River Storm Drain Murals Pilot Project

Post Date:02/05/2019 11:00 AM

Feb. 5, 2019

The CIty of Santa Cruz Public Works Department has determined that many of the storm drains along the San Lorenzo River are magnets for trash and other pollution and need to be cleaned regularly. The water going into these drains flows directly into the San Lorenzo River and can harm animals and plants. The primary goal of this project is to raise awareness that these drains flow straight into the San Lorenzo River—through beautiful murals that the neighborhoods will enjoy.

The Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) is a local non-profit that works to protect the San Lorenzo River and the broader watershed in Santa Cruz County. The Coastal Watershed Council is working with river neighbors from the Ocean’s 11 and Beach Flats neighborhoods to create improvement projects that beautify the neighborhood and connect residents to the San Lorenzo River. Residents of these neighborhoods have shared desires for more public art, less water pollution, interpretive signage, more points of interest and more neighborhood gatherings, all of which are addressed through this program.

Three locations for storm drain murals in neighborhoods bordering the San Lorenzo River have been identified. The City Arts budget has funding available for future storm drain murals if this pilot is successful.

Timeline: • February -City and CWC staff create RFQ and share it through Arts Commission, social media, print media and CWC newsletter. • Early March – Artist selected for project. Contracts and liability coordinated and finalized. • March – CWC will coordinate community meetings for mural planning in each neighborhood. • April – Artist will design mural and share designs during a neighborhood cleanup. • April 10 – final designs will be presented to the Arts Commission for approval • May- June – Artist will paint mural and offer specific and unique opportunities for neighbors to participate.

Any questions may be addressed to City Arts Coordinator Beth Tobey at

Note: The artist for the Beach Flats Neighborhood project has already been selected.

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