Monday, February 26, 2018

Artists Call: Neighborhood Mural Festival April 13-15, 2018

Calling All Artists! Neighborhood Mural Festival April 13-15, 2018

DEADLINE: Monday April 2, Midnight

Artists (and groups) of all styles and experience levels are invited to work alongside Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB) and residents of the historic Sugarhill and Jefferson Park Neighborhoods to gather stories and transform them into  murals.

Join us for this festive annual celebration of murals, food, community, music and more!


Want to get involved? Here’s how to apply:

Learn about the neighborhood: See the next page for brief history of this area and check our blog for updates about upcoming neighborhood story sessions and online resources:

Themes: Neighborhood stories, culture, residents, and traditions including those of Tucson’s African American community

Submit your mural design and application DEADLINE: Monday April 2, Midnight
To be considered, you must submit the following to

1) Send 1 JPEG (maximum 5MB) of the preliminary sketch(es) of your mural design.

2) Write a short answer to the following questions:

-- Why are you interested in creating a mural in this neighborhood? What is your connection to or understanding of this area?
-- What knowledge, experience, skills, or strengths (artistic or otherwise) do you have that will help prepare you for this type of project? How can you  contribute?

3) Submit all Materials to:

Or By Surface Mail to: TAB/Mural Fest P.O.Box 545, Tucson, AZ 85702

Mural fest planning committee and neighbors review designs and offer feedback.

4) Attend the Neighborhood Story Circle:
Monday, March 26 at 6 PM - 8 PM 
Donna R Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 North 6th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705

Details and What to Expect:
  • Artists submit final revised design for approval by early April 10.
  • Painting will happen Thursday April 12- Sun April 15, you will be assigned your wall upon check in.
  • Most walls are 8' x 10'
  • Neighbors and the public are invited to celebrate and interact with artists the weekend of April 14-15. Murals must be completed by 9pm Sun April 15.
  • Artists must cover their own costs and supplies, including travel and lodging though we will be fundraising to offset these costs as much as possible.
  • Murals will be on cement walls lining the Bronx Wash, which runs east-west along Linden   St.
  • There will also be several walls available in nearby Jefferson Park neighborhood,
  • You get a cleaned wall as your canvas plus storage, water, and basic supplies from the Paint Station
  • An artist’s Food & Hydration Station will be open throughout the Fest
  • If you need additional time, special equipment or support please make note of that in your application.
  • This is a grassroots effort and we will do our best to accommodate all  needs!

Background Information About the Area:

Sugarhill is the historic neighborhood which now encompasses the El Cortez Heights, Feldmans, and Northwest neighborhoods. The area was a home to many from Tucson’s African-American community and is an area with a diverse history and living culture.  Systematic housing discrimination, or redlining, meant this was one of the only areas where African Americans and other people of color were allowed to buy homes in Tucson until the passing of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

The demographics of the area have shifted and changed over the years and we hope your murals will capture something about the past, present, and future of this diverse community.  To begin learning, try this 2005 article from the AZ Daily Star: “Life less sweet in Sugar Hill: Dorms and renters put a new face on diverse neighborhood”

Sample stories from Sugar Hill (provided by Armando Vargas)
Sugar Hill Water Tower
239 E Elm ST (construction about 1948) former home of the Turner family, Dr. Turner
DDS, hosted at his home the African American Jazz players/musicians and other African American entertainers in the 1950's and 1960's because these entertainers were not allow to stay in the hotel/motels along Miracle Mile Strip and Drachman where they were entertaining -- Tucson Inn, Executive Inn, Hilton, etc.  Carlton and Carl Bowdry, father and son, before they both passed away five or more years ago, shared with me numerous names of these entertainers.  One of the names I can remember was Dizzy Gillespie.  The late Dr. Turner's son, Joel V., is also a DDS.  The son's former office was on the SW corner of Grant/4th AV.  I do not know if the son has a new dental office location.  A few of the Sugar Hill residents confirmed verbally the Turner family hosted these entertainers.

433 E Elm (1955, red brick, 3-bdrm) was acquired recently by M.A. Goodman.  According to a nearby neighbor, Mr. R.E. Wilson sold his home to Goodman.  Both Mr. Wilson and his adult son are ill and needed money for health expenses.  Wilson called Goodman directly rather than list the house with a realtor.

Jefferson Park Neighborhood
More info about the history/culture of the nearby Jefferson Park Neighborhood, at one point the northern edge of Tucson can be found here:

Click here to read “Weaving Art into Grant Road” along Grant road “Culture, History, and Environment” assembled by the neighborhood. 

For questions or more information please contact: