Keep Bull City Litter-Free Public Art Project

W. Club_Completed Project_Groundplane art example

Project Background

The City of Durham Cultural and Public Art Program in partnership with Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) have received a $15,000 grant from South Arts to promote litter prevention through creative public art at three upcoming bus stop shelters across Durham. These bus shelters are located at Fulton Street directly in front of the Durham VA Medical Center; Erwin Road at Fulton Street; and E Main Street at Dillard Street near the Durham County Human Services Building.

Durham’s grant award will fund the collaboration to create new ground plane murals that encourage residents to decrease cigarette butt litter and act as advocacy agents around litter prevention in their community. The City’s Cultural and Public Art Program and KDB will work closely with a selected artists or artist teams to design temporary ground plane murals around the bus shelter locations in summer 2021. These new shelters will also include newly installed ash receptacles and ballot bins as a way to encourage residents to reduce litter. Ballot bins are customizable ashtrays with clear glass fronts that display a question and two answers for smokers to vote on by putting their cigarette butts into one of the answer slots underneath.  

South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists and arts organizations through an array of grants, fellowships, and programs. South Arts uses the Cross-Sector Impact Grant program to provide significant support to projects developed by partners that harness the power of “Arts & …”, for example, arts and the military, arts and equity, arts and aging, arts and community revitalization. Durham’s project is funded in part by a grant from this South Arts program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. 

The City and Keep Durham Beautiful will work closely with a selected artist(s) or artist team(s) to design temporary ground-plane murals around three bus shelter sites with newly installed Ballot Bins (ash receptacles) with anticipated socially-distant community engagement sessions at Durham Bus Station. The program will also explore developing an interactive video with the selected artists to distribute to Durham Public Schools on the topic of litter prevention, sustainable art practices, and recyclable art materials. 

Proposed Timeline

  • Friday, July 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.: Deadline to submit application to Pre-Qualified Artist Registry for Keep Bull City Litter-Free groundplane project 
  • January 2022: Notify Artist of Decision   
  • May - July 2022: Design Development and Community Engagement  
  • July - August 2022: Artist(s) begin installation 
  • September 2022: Deadline for Artist(s) installations to be completed 


There are three locations identified for these ground-plane murals, with anticipated socially-distanced community engagement sessions to inform the artist(s) designs. These bus shelter locations are: 

Seven Oaks Road at Riverview Shopping Center - (Map)
Stop ID: 5127