Three organizations are launching a "Paint-it-Out" graffiti removal program for business and property owners in Southeast Seattle.
The goal of the "Paint-it-Out" program is to help eliminate graffiti in Southeast Seattle by painting it out as soon as it goes up. According to the Graffiti Hurts Web site, graffiti clean-up alone costs U.S. cities tens of thousands of dollars each year. These are funds which could be used for art programs, schools, roads, parks and other community improvements. Graffiti sends the signal to the community that nobody cares which can attract other forms of crime and street delinquency. Graffiti also decreases a resident's feeling of safety. Through this program, businesses and property owners will be provided a valuable and constructive resource, while educating the southeast community about the negative impact of graffiti.
The program is sponsored by SouthEast Effective Development (SEED), as well as King County Superior Court Community Programs and Seattle Public Utilities. To launch the program, organizers will distribute flyers and send out letters and a promotional magnet to a selection of 500 business and property owners in southeast Seattle with information of the service and the 24-hour graffiti hotline: 206-760-4285. Businesses owners will then be responsible for notifying SEED's Public Art program about graffiti on their properties, at which point SEED will arrange for a supervised crew of juvenile probation youth from the King County Court Programs to paint out the graffiti.
The program will involve 5-20 youth from the court program, as well as an adult supervisor. Some of the youth outcomes for the program include:
Providing a vehicle for young people to restore and enhance the beauty and livability of their neighborhoods;
Increasing youth competencies in positive work behaviors;
Increasing restitution payments to victims;
Increasing opportunities for youth to complete court-ordered community restitution;
Improving employability skills of area youth and increase their skills and opportunities;
The "Paint-it-Out" program will provide basic painting materials, including brushes, rollers, drop cloths and cleaners. Latex paints are also supplied in three colors, including beige, white and grey. If a business requires special colors or treatment, the business owner will be responsible for informing SEED prior to them coming out and/or providing them with the paint. SEED will not remove any graffiti without prior consent from the business owner.
The "Paint-it-Out" program will be a free service to business and property owners; however, a donation of $15 or more is suggested to benefit SEED's Pubic Art Workshop. Public Art Workshop creates site-specific, culturally relevant art in public spaces by partnering professional artists with at-risk youth from underserved southeast Seattle communities to design, fabricate and install public art projects in their own neighborhoods. In 2006-2007, three new public artworks for southeast Seattle were created through this program.
The "Paint-it-Out" program will be an ongoing effort provided by SEED and KCSC that will serve the entire southeast Seattle community, consisting of over 108,000 residents and thousands of businesses and property owners. Boundaries for the "Paint-it-Out" program will include: I-90 to the north, Lake Washington to the east, the Seattle city limits to the south and the I-5 to the west.
SEED is acting as a community partner and is not responsible for painting out graffiti in a timely manner; however the "Paint-it-Out" program will respond as quickly as possible to assist property owners eliminate their graffiti. Graffiti that is not attended to can be reported and property owners can be fined. Additional resources on graffiti removal can be obtained by contacting the Seattle Public Utilities Anti-Graffiti Program at 206-684-7587.
For further information, visit the "Paint-it-Out" information page at www.seedseattle.org/graffiti or call Abbey Norris, public art manager, at 206-760-4289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.