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Q&A

Hover over each question to learn more
about the Urban Art Mapping project.

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How many items does the database include?

The George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art Database has around 1500 records currently, but we are working on a backlog of submissions as well. Some people and organizations have sent us large collections of images that take time to enter into the database. 

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When did you start working on the project and what was the impetus behind it?  

We’ve been working on street art in St. Paul, MN as a research team for over two years. Our project has always been about identifying, documenting, and mapping street art – by which we mean everything from graffiti and tags to stickers, buffs, throw-ups, wheat pastes, murals, and projections (added as part of the database projects). Geographic information systems analysis and ethnographic interviewing have always been a part of our work as well. We started the COVID-19 Street Art Database in April of 2020 when our in-person interviewing had to be shut down because of COVID. Heather, who was one sabbatical at the time, started looking at COVID pieces online and got the idea that we should start a database. She reached out to her networks and to artists and the submissions started to come in. Then, when George Floyd was killed just over a month later, we knew we had to start a database for street art that appeared as part of the racial justice movement. The neighborhood where we had already been doing work, Midway in St. Paul, turned out the be the epicenter of the uprising in St. Paul. We were suddenly seeing art everywhere and it was telling a story that we felt needed to be preserved. 

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What is the target audience? Who is the website meant to serve - scholars/general public?

We intended the database for use for educational and research purposes. It is open to everyone, however, to look at. We hope that the images and metadata will be of interest to a broad, international audience, since the issues addressed are of concern around the world.  

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Are the materials
free for use?

The materials are free to use, but we must stress that we do not own the images in the database. Rights are held by the photographers and the artists. Fair use of images for education and research are ok, but any other uses – especially commercial – would need the permission of the rights holders (there is a lengthy statement regarding our policy on the site)