Mini Murals is a civic art program that brightens and elevates the public realm for all. We look forward to welcoming you as a sponsor for a Mini Mural.
About the Program
Mini Murals is an award-winning program of UP Art Studio that transforms drab utility cabinets in the public right of way. It uses the cabinets as blank “canvases” for original artwork, primarily by local artists. Mini Murals instill civic pride while beautifying neighborhoods and making cities more inviting places to visit, live, work, and do business.
Started in Houston, Texas in 2012, the program has grown to other cities. UP Art Studio has produced and installed more than 300 Mini Murals – with more continuously in development.
To get started, submit a Sponsorship Application. We will get in touch and send a Sponsorship Agreement. The Agreement provides further details about the program, the process, project delivery, and the role of Sponsors.
Projects are sponsored by cities, other governmental entities, businesses, community groups, and individuals. People love Mini Murals! Sponsors earn tremendous goodwill by giving this gift to the community.
The sponsorship fee for a Mini Mural varies by community and the package of services selected; please contact us for a quote. The all-inclusive fee covers all project costs; it includes a $1000 stipend paid directly to the artist. The remainder of the fee covers project management services, technical production, professional preparation and coating of the cabinet, photography, website, community engagement and PR, etc.
Primarily, the cabinets used are city-owned traffic signal control cabinets at signalized intersections. Our program services include coordinating with city government for all required project reviews and approvals.
As a Sponsor, you will be credited in all communications and online information about the project. This recognition includes project materials, news releases, social media posts, and the project listing on MiniMurals.org.
Sponsors are recognized on the page for the Mini Mural that is commissioned, as featured on the program website, MiniMurals.org.
MiniMurals.org also credits the artist, with links to artists’ online presence (e.g. website, Instagram, or Facebook). Artists typically promote their Mini Mural on social media, as does UP Art Studio, to reach thousands of followers. UP Art Studio promotions include a Sponsor credit.
Marketing & PR
We actively promote new Mini Murals projects through our social media accounts and website, as well as via the Houston Mural Map, Mini Mural Tours, and other PR efforts. All individual project references link to the program website, which recognizes the Sponsor.
All Sponsors receive photographs of the completed Mini Mural, a project description, and brief news story suitable for inclusion in marketing communications materials. This makes it easy and efficient for your communications team to share news about your Sponsorship of the project.
Sponsors that engage UP Art Studio for a program of five or more Mini Murals can select our “Turbo Package” of marketing and PR services. These are customized for each client but typically include:
- A community survey allowing people to “vote” on a preferred artist and/or conceptual rendering
- Content provided for your own social media and digital communications
- Media release and proactive media relations
- Marketing-communications collateral (e.g. brief content for a newsletter or website)
- Event-planning for activations and community celebration events
We have a specific intersection or neighborhood in mind. Can we select the location?
Yes! Just tell us the site you prefer, and we will coordinate for city approval. If for some reason the city rejects the site (for example, because they plan to replace the cabinet soon) we will get information on alternate sites nearby to recommend. You can also suggest a several locations initially, in ranked order.
We have a certain artist in mind. Can we recommend or select the artist for our Mini Mural?
Yes! Sponsors do have the ability to recommend, review, and approve the artist and artwork for the project that they sponsor. As part of our project management protocol, artists are required to join our Artist Registry. We will provide you with that list, upon request. Only artists accepted to the Mini Murals Artist Registry may be considered for a Mini Mural commission.
If the artist is not already a part of the program, please ask the artist to visit the ARTISTS page at MiniMurals.org for step-by-step directions on how to apply. Please encourage any artist you have in mind to get their Registry application submitted ASAP. Applications may be submitted any time. They are reviewed by our selection panel in batches, every few months. The Artist will be notified as soon as a decision is made.
All artists selected for the program sign an Artist Agreement with UP Art Studio. This serves to ensure professional project delivery.
We have specific imagery in mind. Can we provide our desired “theme” to the artist?
Yes! This information can be included in the Call for Renderings for the specific Mini Mural. We recommend keeping the theme open-ended, allowing the artist to use their creativity in interpreting it. We love seeing the ideas and images that artists propose! We also provide Sponsors with a PDF of “stock” renderings available (proposed imagery previously submitted by participating artists, but not yet selected for a Mini Mural).
Artwork proposals are encouraged that positively reflect the unique culture, racial identities, history, and iconic public figures of the surrounding neighborhood. Often Mini Murals tell a story, or reflect one. Consider that the artwork will remain in place for many years. For some projects, UP Art Studio conducts a formal community engagement process in which the artist participates.
Artists accepted to the registry are provided with Design Guidelines that provide the details and the rules for developing a conceptual artist rendering for a project. They are included in the Program Rules for Artists, which are provided once artists are accepted into the registry.
Can you put our company logo on the Mini Mural?
Unfortunately, no. Cities have sign ordinances that prohibit advertising on their utility cabinets. No commercial logos, advertising, or promotional language can be included.
All projects do include the line MiniMural.Org; on this website, viewers will see the Sponsor credit.
I want to honor someone I know on a Mini Mural. Is that possible?
Possibly. At this time the City will consider portraits for deceased cultural icons, civic leaders, achievers of notable “firsts”/barrier breakers in history, and famous athletes with a history of civic/charitable service.
Can the Sponsor review and approve the final artwork?
Yes. The artist first submits a proposal (conceptual rendering). The proposed rendering is reviewed by UP Art Studio, the Sponsor, and local officials (e.g. for compliance with the City Sign Ordinance that prohibits advertising.) If a rendering in not accepted, the artist may submit another concept. Artists are officially commissioned for the project only after the rendering is accepted. We look forward to reviewing your Sponsor Application for the Mini Murals Program. Thank you!