The local efforts to address illegal Graffiti have taken huge strides for the last few years.
I am so excited that, as part of these efforts, positive strategies are also being explored and incorporated. I have been to many informal and formal meetings/discussions about Graffiti. Discussions led by groups of civic advocates, local artists, neighbors, and even governmental figures. It is no surprise that at most these meetings, someone says, "we need to do more than just erase graffiti!"
Discussions move into topics ranging from having public spaces for people to display their art, to creating more new urban art programs. I enjoy strategies like these because they require a need to learn more about other groups of people, in this case those that openly display their public works. Some call such people vandals, others call them artists. Most new age strategies do not get hung up on discussions like this, but rather build around how to utilize local opportunities and or maximize community assets.
The principal idea behind many of the positive strateiges to address illegal graffiti is, "by offering people more opportunities to display their urban art either by projects, events, or spaces, we could minimize the amount of illegal tagging in our city".
Google "Omaha Graffiti Art" and several recent local projects will come up that sought such strategies. The portfolio of these projects includes sponsors like local schools, the South Omaha police department, several non profit groups, and many businesses.
Now, it is our neighborhood association's turn to try a project. With the help of several community partners, we will be hosting a city wide Graffiti Competition, information below. These event is intended for many audiences. It is truly amazing to see these people in action. See You there!