The City of Dubuque is seeking artists to create designs and paint murals on three storm drains for a Storm Drain Mural Pilot Project. The project is part of the City's education and outreach efforts to help community members understand that storm drains lead directly to our waterways.

When it rains, stormwater runs over pavement, picking up oil, litter, leaves, grass clippings, and other pollutants. The polluted stormwater then flows down storm drains and through stormwater pipes which empty directly into our local creeks, streams, and rivers. Storm drains can also become a hot spot for illicit dumping – trash, grease, pet waste, paint, cigarettes, and more. As a result, these pollutants make their way to the Catfish Creek and Bee Branch Creek and, ultimately, the Mississippi River, impairing the health of our waterways.

The storm drains selected for this project will be transformed from functional infrastructure into engaging works of art that will draw attention to water-quality protection and the positive impact Dubuque residents can have on their environment. The goal is to raise awareness of storm drains as a connection to our local waterways.

The Storm Drain Mural Pilot Project is open to all artists, including groups and students. Designs should be bold, original, and demonstrate artistic merit. When designing artwork, artists are encouraged to consider the themes of storm water pollution, environmental protection, and local ecosystems. Artists are welcome to submit more than one design.

Design concepts must be submitted by Aug. 16, through the City's website or at the City Clerk's office located on the first floor of City Hall, 50 West 13th St. Selected artists will be notified by Aug. 26. The murals must be painted between Sept. 9 – 30, 2019. Upon project completion, the artist will receive a $500 stipend for each mural painted.

The City was awarded eight gallons of Diamond Vogel paint for the Storm Drain Mural Pilot Project through Paint Iowa Beautiful, a program that provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. During the 16-year partnership between Keep Iowa Beautiful and Diamond Vogel Paint, over 9,640 gallons of paint and hundreds of local volunteers have helped 786 community projects in Iowa.

The project is being funded with a combination of Arts and Culture Special Project funds and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater funds. If the pilot is successful, additional partnerships and funding opportunities will be explored to expand the project to include additional storm drains.

For more information, please visit or call 563.690.6068.

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