Grant Guidelines & Eligibility
Supporting pilot projects to demonstrate the impact of these low-cost activations and encourage cities to develop their own processes for implementing effective asphalt art projects.
The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is designed to fund visual art on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in cities. Typically, the projects are painted murals, organized in collaboration between city governments and local communities, with the following primary goals:
- Improving street and pedestrian safety
- Revitalizing and activating underutilized public space
- Promoting collaboration and civic engagement in local communities
A European round of the Asphalt Art Initiative was announced in April 2022. The program will award up to 20 European cities grants of up to $25,000 each, as well as on-call technical assistance from the City of Milan’s Agenzia Mobilità Ambiente e Territorio (AMAT). Winning cities are expected to be announced in October 2022 for projects installing during calendar year 2023.
Please refer to our currently funded Projects as well as the Bloomberg Associates Asphalt Art Guide to gather inspiration from successful asphalt art projects in cities around the world. The Guide includes detailed guidance and best practices for implementing similar projects, with cost- and time-saving advice on every step of the project, from site selection to implementation and maintenance.
Each application must have a site identified for the proposed asphalt art project (or sites, if multiple are feasible within the budget). Eligible sites should be on or adjacent to active roadways, and may include crosswalk, intersections, vehicle/parking lanes, plazas, sidewalks, or transportation infrastructure such as traffic barriers, highway underpasses, or utility boxes. Sites may be located in and managed by one or multiple jurisdictions (city, state or county, public utility, regional transit authority, etc.) but must be largely or completely on public property and be fully open to the public. See page 71 in the Asphalt Art Guide for considerations when selecting a site.
Proposed projects may be temporary (e.g., a single artwork application with plans to eventually remove faded paint) or they may be longer term with plans for repair/reapplication or a planned/proposed capital construction. All projects should include an appropriate plan for maintenance of the artwork for the duration of its installation. Projects with a defined end date should include a plan for removal.
Goals & Metrics
A critical component of the Asphalt Art Initiative is to identify priority goals for each project and to make a plan for collecting metrics to determine how successful the project is at meeting those goals. Goals and metrics may differ from project to project. See our List of Common Metrics for reference.
Each application must include a proposed budget outlining how the grant will be expended. Competitive proposals will include in-kind support from the municipality (e.g. permitting, repaving, installing planters or traffic barriers, or long-term maintenance). Proposals may also make use of additional funding or in-kind support from outside sources, if applicable.
Funded projects cannot include obscenity, hate speech, political messages, religious content, commercial advertisements, or depict illegal activity.
Competitive proposals must clearly demonstrate:
- The project addresses a relevant and meaningful challenge faced by the identified site, the surrounding neighborhood, or the city (e.g., traffic safety, underutilized public space, neighborhood blight, etc.).
- The characteristics of the chosen site (e.g. physical layout, traffic or pedestrian volume, neighborhood context) are such that an intervention of this nature has a high likelihood of success.
- The proposed intervention is consistent with the project’s stated goal(s) and has appropriate metrics to determine success.
- The proposed project clearly benefits the local community and engages residents/stakeholders in its planning, development, and/or execution.
- The project team and partners have the necessary authority and expertise to oversee a project of this nature.
- The project has demonstrated support from city and community stakeholders, through existing support or a thoughtful outreach/engagement plan.
- The proposed budget, timeline, and maintenance plan are realistic and demonstrate notable in-kind city support.
Quality & Visual Interest
- The process for artist selection and design development is well-defined and appropriate for the proposed project, and will be overseen by someone with appropriate expertise.
- If the artist has already been selected, the chosen artist has demonstrated creative skill and the potential to develop a visually compelling design.
- The surface being painted is in good repair or there is a reasonable plan to repave or otherwise treat it to be receptive to the chosen materials.