Paint the Town!

The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) is excited to announce the Paint the Town! pilot program. This pilot program allows community members to paint temporary street murals on Oakland’s roads.

The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) is excited to announce Paint the Town!

After receiving over 150 responses to our Request for Community Interest, OakDOT is now seeking applications for temporary street murals. Paint the Town! will allow communities to paint murals on Oakland’s streets.

Why Paint the Town!?

Streets murals can brighten and represent a neighborhood and help strengthen community spirit. They can also potentially slow traffic and are fun to make!  A street mural designed and painted by community members brings people together and adds life and surprise to our streets.

Where can street murals be painted?

Street Murals can be painted entirely on asphalt at two locations:

  • At intersections of low-volume streets.
  • At the midblock of streets or potentially a whole block length. 

What do you mean by temporary?

Street murals usually last about a year without maintenance. Note: The City of Oakland will not be responsible for any maintenance associated with the street murals/ paintings. The City has the authority to remove the mural, in part or in whole, at any time. Applicants are responsible for maintenance if the City deems it necessary (see page 7 of this application).

I want to apply! Now what?

Great! To paint a street mural, you must submit the application in this packet by November 30, 2017, and receive approval from OakDOT. Be sure to read the rest of this guide and follow the instructions carefully. OakDOT will contact selected applicants on January 5, 2018.

How many street murals will OakDOT approve?

For the Paint the Town! Pilot program, OakDOT will select up to 30 applications.

How do I get assistance for my application?

OakDOT organized application clinics at Oakland Public Library branches. During these application clinics, community members can learn about the program and receive assistance on applications. Attending a clinic is not required to apply, but we encourage you to come!

  • September 30, 10:30 - 12:00pm, Golden Gate, 5606 San Pablo Ave
  • October 3, 5:00 - 7:00pm, 81st Ave Branch, 1021 81st Ave
  • October 10, 4:00 - 5:30pm, West Oakland Branch, 801 Adeline Street
  • October 11, 6:30-8:00pm, Main Library, 125 14th St
  • October 14, 2:00 - 3:30pm, Melrose Branch, 4805 Foothill Blvd
  • November 4, 10:30am-12:00pm, Main Library, 125 14th St
  • November 13, 12:30-2:30pm, Lincoln Square Recreation Center, 250 10th St

Select applicants may be [provided a grant for budgeted costs or may be a reimbursed for budgeted expenses]*and/or offered in-kind support, such as a designer, paint and supplies, and the costs of the special event permit for installation. There is no need to fill out a separate application. Artists' fees are not eligible. 

* Not all applications will receive funding. For more information about email paintthetown@oaklandnet.com 

What Criteria will OakDOT use to review applications?

Generally, OakDOT will review applicant information, project goals and design, fundraising and outreach plan. Check out our roles and responsibilities handout. There is no fee to apply for this pilot program, but if selected the applicant will be responsible for installation costs including paint, brushes, artist fees if applicable, and street closure permits. If selected, the applicant will have to sign an agreement with the City and may have the project presented at a formally noticed meeting.

OakDOT staff will also review: 

Site Context

  • OakDOT will review the proposed project locations to see if other street improvements-such as curb ramp upgrades-can be made by the City.
  •  If there are additional street improvements, OakDOT may install and fund these projects.

Site Equity

  • Equity is a core value OakDOT’s Strategic Plan and is part of this pilot program.
  • For every 1 application received in a low-disadvantaged community (using MTC Community of Concern index), OakDOT will approve 2 applications in a disadvantaged community (medium - high in the map) keeping a 1:2 ratio.
  • To view if a location is historically underserved follow this link:  http://oakbec.s3.amazonaws.com/MapLanding/maps/DOTDashboard.html

Important Dates:

  • Application period open September 19th-November 30th, 2017
  • Application Clinics: 
    • Tuesday, October 3rd, 5:00pm-7:00pm, 81st Avenue, 1021 81st Avenue
    • Wednesday, October 11th, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Main Library, 125 14th Street
    • Saturday, October 14th, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Melrose Branch, 4805 Foothill Boulevard
    • November 4, 10:30am-12:00pm, Main Library, 125 14th St
    • November 13, 12:30-2:30pm, Lincoln Square Recreation Center, 250 10th St
  • Applicants Notified on January 5, 2018 if they are selected to move forward

Important Documents

For More Information Contact: paintthetown@oaklandnet.com 

Fine Print

1.      Filling out the application does not mean you are approved! All artwork designs must be approved by an OakDOT representative before permission is granted to proceed with the project. Please include your design or description with this application.

2.      Applicants can apply for more than one location, but each location must have a separate Paint the Town! application.

3.      If selected, OakDOT will work with applicants on materials. Applicants must abide by the specifications that OakDOT provides. Generally, all materials must be non-toxic /non-corrosive and adhere to the surface in a manner that prevents them from eroding or shedding into the storm water system and should conform to the Best Management Practices for Alameda County for paints and solvents.

4.      The City of Oakland will not be responsible for any maintenance associated with the street murals/ paintings. The City has the authority to remove the mural, in part or in whole, at any time. If the community wishes to re-paint the mural, they must apply for the necessary special events permit.

5.      A utility company may also remove the painting if needed and the City is not responsible for replacing the mural. If the community wishes to re-paint the mural, they must apply for the necessary special events permit.

6.      The pavement mural can be maintained (cleaned, repainted, repaired, etc.) by the applicant during a neighborhood event for which all pertinent City permits will be required. The mural may not be maintained (cleaned, repainted, repaired, etc.) during any time other than the permitted street closure by the City. If the community wishes to maintain the mural, they can, as the paint will likely fade after one year, but it is not a requirement, unless the City deems it necessary.

7.      In the case that the City deems it necessary for the applicant to maintain (clean, repaint, repair, etc.) the mural at any time, the applicant shall complete the requested maintenance work, including obtaining all required City permits, within one month of written notification by the City.

8.      The City is not responsible for the upkeep and repair of any artwork and artwork the mural may be repainted by the City at any time for any reason and may be removed if it is not maintained in a manner that reflects positively on the City and the community.

9.      If a professional artist is used, they must waive all claims under federal and state laws that protect the integrity of works of art (waiver of California Art Preservation Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§987 and 989) (“CAPA”)/Visual Artists Right Act of 1990, 17 U.S.C. §§106A and 113(d) (” VARA”).

10. If selected, the community group or individual or will have to sign an agreement with the City and may have the project presented at a formally noticed meeting.