The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) attended the 84rd Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on January 20-22nd. The conference was attended by 284 mayors and numerous city officials, members of the business community, and executive branch staff. The GRC heard from distinguished speakers such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Baltimore Mayor and USCM President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Jim Inhofe, Senators Ed Markey and Heidi Heitkamp, Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox, and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The GRC staff had the unique opportunity to meet with numerous mayors to discuss its programs, mission, and how it can assist cities in reducing graffiti vandalism.
From October 20- 21, 2015, the GRC attended the 10th annual TAGS conference held in Ottawa, Canada. The TAGS conference is a two-day anti-graffiti conference for those affected by and working to prevent and eradicate graffiti vandalism. I. The conference is an opportunity for law enforcement to share investigative tools and techniques and for property owners to learn about successful preventative strategies. The GRC had a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from law enforcement and city officials who are deeply involved in solving graffiti problems. These lessons are helpful for adding to GRC’s resources and recommendations for communities seeking innovative solutions about graffiti vandalism.
Five Tucson artists will paint trash containers throughout the city under a new mural art pilot program intended to help curb graffiti. The Tucson Arts Brigade, working with Tucson Environmental Services, hopes the program will also improve urban aesthetics and ultimately save taxpayers money on graffiti abatement. The five finalists were chosen from 44 applicants who ranged from established painters to first-time muralists. The artists are Johanna Hand, Sasha Lewis, Niki Glen, Porter McDonald and local graphic artist Ruben Moreno. Organizing these projects keeps local residents engaged, Moreno said, and people become impassioned when artists beautify a neighborhood. Plus, the entire process of planning a mural has an overall positive effect, he added. The city invested $5,000 in the pilot program, which was matched by the Graffiti Resource Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit vandalism prevention organization.