Muriel Brower, the mayor of Washington D.C., announced last Friday that the District of Columbia will be paying out $20,000 in tax dollars for artists to paint LGBT friendly murals on the storm drains on 17th Street.
The declaration was made after she opened up a new rainbow colored crosswalk to promote the weekend’s gay pride parades. Last Saturday, over 100 volunteers helped to paint six crosswalks, all along the route of the Capital Pride Parade, one of them featuring the pride flag.
“We are installing these temporary crosswalks as a symbol of Washington, D.C.’s inclusivity, and LGBTQ pride,” Bowser said. “For many years, Washington, D.C., has been a leader on LGBTQ rights, and my administration will continue pushing forward to protect and defend the rights of and expand opportunity for our LGBTQ residents. It is an honor to be part of this installation, and I look forward to joining residents from across D.C. at the Capital Pride Parade.”
In order to comply with federal regulations, the crosswalks are temporary installations. They currently run along Frank Kameny Way, an area of 17th street named after the D.C. native and the late renowned gay rights activist Frank Kameny. But the mayor’s office wants to get around even that stipulation, and create a “more permanent” homage to the LGBT cause in the nation’s capital city areas–all in the name of those nauseatingly euphemistic terms, “diversity and inclusion.”
“In order to create a more permanent installation, community members are currently working with [the Department of Energy and Environment] DOEE and the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) to commission artists to paint storm drains with murals that celebrate the neighborhood’s LGBTQ identity,” the mayor’s office said.
The project will include four 10-foot long murals painted on storm drains for the summer. They will be painted within the months of June or July. Then in the fall of 2017, another 12 murals will be selected and commissioned. Interested artists must apply for the original drain project by June 16. A website lists the requirements, including that they should submit up to five possible ideas and the message of the piece, “should include diversity, inclusivity, and should celebrate the LGBTQ identity of the community.” Other restrictions include not using the storm drain to be a “mouth” of anything or anyone. The pieces should also be consistent with the environmental element of the theme. Further, all of the paint that the artist uses must be made of entirely environmentally-friendly materials.
The murals must also include the words #trashfreeDC. This seems to be mentioned as an afterthought in the promotional material in order to receive cooperation from the Department of Energy. The selections will be made based o the equal weight of three elements–artistic strength, incorporation of themes of diversity and inclusion, and environmental theme.
Artists will receive $775 and the city will provide all materials. The artists must live in or have a place of business in the District of Columbia and maintain the mural for up to one year.
The effort is a combined project from several agencies, including the mayor’s Office of LGBTQ affairs, the Anascostia Watershed Society, and other city planning departments. The money comes from a “Community Stormwater Solutions,” grant in which they received $20,000 for the District’s government.
“The goal of these murals is to both raise awareness of storm drains as a connection to our local waterways and promote the neighborhood’s LGBTQ identity,” the Anacostia Watershed Society said.
The art installments were supposed to add to the festivities of Saturday’s Capital Pride Parade. However, the parade suffered hecklers from activists of the No Justice No Pride group. The group protested the corporate sponsorship involved in the parade, stating that it is the corporate environment itself that keeps LGBTQ people marginalized in the first place.
While the evolving letters of the gay community (LGBTQ) seem to incorporate more and more designations, they are still less then 12% of the population. Yet, the powers that be have now decided to bombard us with it all over the nation’s capital Why are we constantly being force-fed this ideology? In a culture that claims to value “diversity,” shouldn’t it be acceptable to disagree with a lifestyle or an ideology? No, of course not. We must only agree with what the government agrees is correct and diverse.