Press Releases

The Griot

DC’s Ben’s Chili Bowl repaints famous mural without Bill Cosby

By Jacquelyn Martin | June 26, 2017

People were surprised to see that the famous mural on Ben’s Chili Bowl had been repainted and while there were still the glowing faces of the Obamas, Muhammad Ali, Prince and others such as Harriet Tubman, one face was missing. View More



Cosby’s Image Removed from Famous DC Mural

by Nami Dockery | June 27, 2017

Bill Cosby is no longer part of a mural on the side of a popular eatery in Washington.

The images of Cosby and former president Obama were included in the original mural at Ben’s Chili Bowl. View More


DC Mural of Prominent Figures Painted—Without Bill Cosby

By Nancy Coleman | June 26, 2017

After over 50 years of loyalty, an iconic Washington, DC, restaurant honored patron Bill Cosby in 2012 by painting his face onto a mural outside the diner. View More



Ben’s Chili Bowl Unveils New Mural

By Linda Vilakazi | June 22, 2017

Like the old mural, the new mural honors various heroes and influences of Black history. Ben’s Chili Bowl teamed up with artist and Washingtonian Aniekan Udofia, and accompanied by his Art Director Mia DuVall, unveiled the newest and — what is intended to be the last — mural on June 21. View More


93.9 WKYS

The New Ben’s Chili Bowl Mural Was Unveiled Yesterday

June 22, 2017

Ben’s Chili Bowl has officially unveiled their completed mural and they had a celebration with some of those highlighted. View More


People Magazine

See Towering Michelle and Barack Obama Alongside Prince and Harriet Tubman in Massive New D.C. Mural

By Lindsay Kimble | June 22, 2017

Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are among the prominent black figures, politicians and celebrities covering the outside walls of famed D.C. restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl in a new mural unveiled Wednesday. View More


Huffington Post

Bill Cosby’s Face On Famous D.C. Mural Replaced With 15 Black Stars

By Lilly Workneh | June 21, 2017

The mural, by artist Aniekan Udofia, now includes First Lady Michelle Obama, Muhammad Ali, abolitionist Harriet Tubman and singers like Chuck Brown, Gladys Knight, and Prince as well as contemporary artists like actress Taraji Henson, comedian Dave Chappelle and rapper Wale. View More


The Washington Times

Ben’s Chili Bowl unveils new mural

By Emma Ayers | June 21, 2017

The D.C. Department of Public Works and the Commission on the Arts and the Humanities worked with Ben’s Chili Bowl on the mural project. View More



Photos: Meet The Legends Of The New, Cosby-Less Ben’s Chili Bowl Mural

By Christina Studivant | June 21,2017

The sketch we saw along the side of Ben’s Chili Bowl earlier this month is now colored with the various shades of African Americans who’ve made their marks in the District and beyond. View More


TMOTTGoGo Magazine

The New Ben’s Chili Bowl Mural for the Summer of 2017

June 21, 2017

The newly re-designed mural is now in affect. Again from the creative works of Aniekan Udofia, this time the mural displays Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama, Prince, Harriet Tubman, Muhammad Ali, Chuck Brown, Roberta Flack, Donnie Simpson, Russ Parr, Taraji P Henson, Wale, Marion Barry, Jim Vance, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Dave Chappelle and Dick Gregory. View More



Ben’s Chili Bowl mural gets some new faces

June 21, 2017

The new mural, named “The Torch” was crafted by Aniekan Udofia, artist of the original mural. View More



Ben’s Chili Bowl reveals new mural

By Nick Leimback and Katelyn Haas |June 21,2017

Ben’s Chili Bowl revealed its new mural this Wednesday. Over 30,000 people voted for who and what they wanted to see on the wall and they came out to see its unveiling! View More



PHOTOS: The New Ben’s Chili Bowl Mural

By Rosa Cartagena | June 21, 2017

After whiting out its old mural back in January, Ben’s Chili Bowl will officially unveil its new mural Wednesday. The old one featured Donnie Simpson, Barack Obama, Chuck Brown, and Bill Cosby. Three of those men returned on the new mural. Cosby, a longtime friend of Ben’s, didn’t. View More



Who’s On Ben’s Wall? A New Mural Brings VIPs To U Street’s Chili Bowl To Find Out

By Mikaela Lefrak | June 21, 2017

One of DC’s most high-profile murals has gotten a face lift — and multiple new faces. The owners of Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street unveiled a new version of the landmark restaurant’s famous mural Wednesday. The redone painting celebrates DC history and black culture while removing one particularly controversial face. View More

The Washington Post

Ben’s Chili Bowl says goodbye to Bill Cosby and welcomes Prince, Wale, Muhammad Ali to its mural

By Perry Stein | June 21, 2017

Bill Cosby is no longer featured on the Ben’s Chili Bowl mural, but more than a dozen black luminaries and cultural figures have a spot on the massive public painting. View More



Interactive: New Ben’s Chili Bowl Mural Features DC Legends

By Kyle Rempfer and Andrea Swalec | June 21, 2017

The D.C. institution Ben’s Chili Bowl unveiled a new mural on Wednesday, showcasing 15 African-American legends of music, politics and media. View More



Ben’s Chili Bowl unveils much-anticipated new mural

By Kate Ryan | June 21, 2017

A mural on a D.C. landmark seemed to come to life Wednesday afternoon as a number of the luminaries on the wall of Ben’s Chili Bowl appeared in person to celebrate the artwork’s completion and the 10th anniversary of the District’s MuralsDC program. View More


Los Angeles Times

 Famed D.C. mural replaces Bill Cosby with Dave Chappelle, Taraji P. Henson and Obamas

By Nardine Saad | June 21, 2017

A high-profile mural in Washington, D.C., has been updated to replace comedian Bill Cosby’s visage with those of Barack and Michelle Obama as well as actress and D.C. native Taraji P. Henson, athlete Muhammad Ali, comedian Dave Chappelle and several others. View More


Washington City Paper

Ahead of Tomorrow’s Unveiling, A Sneak Peek of the New Ben’s Chili Bowl Mural

By John Muller | June 20, 2017

Everyone looked crisp and clean with the exception of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, whom a Department of Public Works employee agreed was in need of a little touch up. View More



DC graffiti replaced with mural art

By Ellen Bryan | October 03, 2016

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — When you drive through D.C.’s most crime ridden areas, you’ll easily find graffiti on old buildings or down abandoned alleys.

The Department of Public Work has been working to replace tagged buildings with original works of art. It’s part of a program called MuralsDC.

Last week, artists worked on walls on 14th Street NW and T Street NW. Kate Deciccio and Rose Jaffe spent the last ten days working on a wall on the back of the Xi Omega House at 4411 14th Street NW. View More

ABC News

Graffiti Apprentices’ in Washington DC Help Create Street Murals to Combat Illegal Tagging

By Janet Weinstein | August 5, 2016

Ann Gill was in 10th grade when she noticed a flyer in her school office advertising for something called a “graffiti apprenticeship” — a program where aspiring young artists could be paid up to $15 an hour to learn street art. Gill says she had always been interested in art, but because she attended an all-academic high school in Washington, D.C., she struggled to find an outlet. “It said you get a job and you get paid and I was looking for money at the time!” she laughed. “So, I had to do it.” View More

Washington Post

Washington is Fighting Graffiti Artists — But It Loves the Graffiti Aesthetic

By Jessica Contrera | March 22, 2016

The music is blaring, the air smells like paint fumes, the bricks are splashed in red and now here comes a cop. The heads in the alley turn. “We’ve got a guest,” somebody quips, but nobody runs. Seven artists are hanging out in a U Street alley, where a vacant building is covered in elaborate graffiti. A guy in a fedora who goes by Viceversa is perched on a ladder, filling in his name on a wall already painted with the words MIZTA, GONG and R.I.P. DABS. Cory Stowers, president of the graffiti crew Double Down Kings, walks up to the officer. View More

Washington City Paper

New D.C. Council Bills Aim to Prevent Graffiti, Violations of Students’ Privacy

By Andrew Giambrone | January 19, 2016

Beware, D.C. graffiti artists: Legislation being considered by the D.C. Council could increase the penalty for illegal spray painting to at least $2,500, up from just a few hundred dollars. Co-introduced this morning by Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd and Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May, the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016” would fine those who willfully place graffiti on property without an owner’s permission “not less than $2,500” and possibly lead to imprisonment “for a period not to exceed 180 days, or both.” View More

Washington Post

Program Unveils City’s Tallest Mural

November 18, 2015

MuralsDC, a graffiti prevention program that replaces tagged walls with original artwork, recently unveiled the city’s tallest mural, on the southwest side of the Paul Laurence Dunbar apartment building, 2001 15th St. NW. View More

Washington Informer

D.C. Unveils Newest Mural in Northwest

By WI Web Staff | November 10, 2015

City Administrator Rashad Young and the D.C. Department of Public Works’ MuralsDC project unveiled Monday afternoon “Connectivity DC,” the District’s newest mural, in Northwest.View More

Washington Post

A Man Afraid of Heights is Painting the Tallest Mural in D.C.

By Candice Norwood | November 8, 2015

Aniekan Udofia flashed a quick smile and a peace sign as a cherry picker hoisted him 80 feet above 15th Street NW recently — higher than he has ever gone to create one of his distinctive murals. “I just don’t really focus on the height because this is what I signed up for. The work has to get done.” View More


Happy People Star in New U Street Mural

By Andrew Ramonas | October 27, 2015

A mural with two people who appear to be laughing is taking shape on an exterior wall of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments at 15th and U streets NW. View More


D.C. Elementary School Fights Back Against Graffiti

By Mike Carter-Conneen/WJLA | September 17, 2015

A D.C. elementary school repeatedly tagged with graffiti is fighting back against vandals with art. The project – part of the MuralsDC program – is funded by the Department of Public Works. View More

Washington City Paper

BroCoLoco: A Team of Brothers Designs Murals Shaped by Community Input

By Olivia Adams | August 10, 2015

Since 2007, the District government has enlisted the help of artists both local and international to beautify the city’s graffitied walls through its MuralsDC initiative. This year’s project targets six walls around the city with help from selected artists including newbies Aaron and Jared Scales of BroCoLoco, a D.C. art collective focused on murals and public art with architectural roots. View More


Our Favorite Street Art And Murals In The D.C. Area

By Matt Cohen | April 16, 2015

D.C. doesn’t have a Banksy (though we did have Borf for a while, and oh do we miss them), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any shortage of phenomenal street art and murals in the area. View More

Washington Post

District Seeks Walls and Artists for Street Murals D.C. News in Brief

April 1, 2015

The D.C. Department of Public Works and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities are seeking donated wall space for MuralsDC, a free program that uses art to discourage graffiti. The program has produced more than 50 murals citywide since 2007. View More


Map: Here’s Where New Murals Are Going Up in D.C.

By Rachel Kaufman | July 29, 2015

D.C.’s MuralsDC project, in its eighth year, has announced where six new murals are going this summer. The six murals, in Wards 1, 2, 4, and 6, will join 54 others in all eight Wards of the city. They’re scheduled to be completed throughout September. View More

Hill Now

D.C. Seeking Space for New Street Art

By Andrea Swalec  | March 23, 2015

The District wants to turn more graffiti-covered walls into public murals.

Business and property owners who want to donate walls are being sought by Mayor Muriel Bowser, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the D.C. Department of Public Works. View More


Mapping 10 Street Murals in Southeast and Southwest, D.C.

By Michelle Goldchain | January 15, 2015

We’ve mapped murals in both the Northeast and Northwest quadrants of Washington, D.C., and now it’s finally time to look at what art the Southeast and Southwest quadrants have to offer. View More

Voice of America

Graffiti Artists Getting Praised, Not Punished

By Julie Taboh  | October 3, 2014

VOA’s Julie Taboh introduces “On Assignment” to a group of graffiti artists the city of Washington is putting to work to beautify public spaces. View More

Voice of America

Mural Artists Help Beautify Washington, DC

By Julie Taboh  | September 12, 2014

Graffiti is a crime that afflicts most major U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C.

Building walls, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often defaced by this typically illegal form of artistic expression.

But officials in the nation’s capital have come up with an innovative way to overcome their graffiti problem. MuralsDC enlists the talents of these local artists to help beautify, rather than deface the city. View More

Washington City Paper

Poolhouse Blues: Aniekan Udofia’s New Mural in Eastern Market

By Christina Cauterucci  | August 1, 2014

One of D.C.’s best-known muralists, Aniekan Udofia, is taking his work in a new, conceptual direction. His past pieces have kept to a literal scope: the pro-statehood U Street NW mural of a gagged George Washington; the portraits of Chuck Brown, Bill Cosby, Donnie Simpson, and Barack Obama on the side of Ben’s Chili Bowl; an image of Duke Ellington engulfed in swirling piano keys on his namesake building in West End.

“This is more like the next level,” he says of his latest work, a cool-toned, free-flowing image of an underwater woman on the north-facing wall of the William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center in Eastern Market. “My stuff now is more abstract.” View More

WAMU 88.5

Ward 7: Battle Over Mural Exposes Fault Lines Among Community Leaders

By Lauren Ober  | March 28, 2014

Pennsylvania Avenue east of the Anacostia River is a drag strip of gas stations, liquor stores, discount shops, and funeral homes. Then there’s Thai Orchid’s restaurant.

It’s easy to miss the low-slung brick building that houses Vernon Bhagirat’s restaurant. But some Ward 7 residents like Maceo Thomas want to change that.

He helped spearhead a project to brighten up the Pennsylvania Avenue business corridor with a little public art. Two years ago, Thomas and another Ward 7 neighbor, Veronica Davis, submitted an application to the city’s MuralsDC initiative to put a mural on the west side of Thai Orchid’s. View More

Washington City Paper

The Brush Off: D.C.’s New Murals

By Ally Schweitzer  | August 22, 2013

Mural art doesn’t seem like the kind of discipline that should be broken into seasons, like fashion or the performing arts—not least because so many murals, with their all-together-now imagery and perennial visibility, seem lodged in a permanent Sesame Street-like past. But the District’s MuralsDC program is calling its new slate of wall art a “season,” and it formally kicked it off last week with the unveiling of a new piece in Shaw. View More

Washington Times

DC Murals Serving as an Artful Alternative to Graffiti on Walls

By Meredith Somers | April 25, 2013

The District sets aside about $406,000 annually to remove graffiti, but officials have dedicated a separate budget of $100,000 to a 5-year-old project encouraging constructive creations in areas often targeted by taggers. View More


D.C. murals create artful alternative to illegal graffiti

By Jenny Doren | August 16, 2013

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – D.C. leaders are fighting illegal graffiti with some art of their own. They’re putting up massive murals in spots repeatedly targeted by vandals in hopes of inspiring creativity and deterring crime.View More

Washington Times

Creating a wall of art: D.C. artist starts his masterpiece with hope of deterring graffiti

By Meredith Somers | August 12, 2013

A bare brick wall alongside a store in Shaw drew little attention from passers-by Monday, but by the end of the week a larger-than-life woman wielding a pencil-shaped gun amid swirling colors will be watching over the Northwest neighborhood.View More

Greater Greater Washington

“Geocaching” uncovers murals about DC culture and history

Abigail Zenner | July 29, 2013

Hidden treasures lie all over Greater Washington. For those in the know, these finds can create a new map of local culture and history, street art, and changing neighborhoods in a game called “geocaching. Similar to orienteering, geocaching is a massive, worldwide GPS-based treasure hunt. Using a GPS device or a smartphone app, the “cacher” tries to find hidden objects, called “geocaches” or “caches” for short, hidden by other cachers. They can be big or tiny, a large tupperware or just a tiny magnet with a paper log inside. Once found, the cacher logs their finds online.View More

East of the River

Neighbors to Raise Funds for Mural

By Charnice A. Milton

Located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Fairlawn area, Thai Orchid’s Kitchen has become a neighborhood favorite since opening in 2010. “Since January, we’ve been meeting there for monthly community dinners,” said Maceo Thomas, a Ward 7 resident. “You can pay one price for an all-you-can-eat experience.” Last month Thomas began a campaign to raise funds to bring a mural to Thai Orchid’s wall, the culmination of a process that began a year ago.View More