Knowledge Center

Black Lives Matter Mural Project

The Black Lives Matter Mural Project in the summer of 2020 enlivened and supported DowntownDC at a pivotal time for the community. This project beautified public space in the Gallery Place-Chinatown neighborhood with 35 outdoor murals, shifting boarded-up storefronts (due to inactivity because of COVID-19 and compounded by unrest and uncertainty related to social justice protests) into inviting, vibrant and hopeful spaces.

This exhibition supported a much larger mission of uniting the community in support of racial justice by offering messages of hope and unity at a fractured time for the nation’s capital and for people around the country. The mural exhibition later that summer grew to include murals outside of St. John’s Church, in response to protest activities at the White House, the painting of Black Lives Matter Plaza (of which the DowntownDC BID was a partner with the city and the Golden Triangle BID) and then an outdoor exhibition, “Murals that Matter,” at the National Building Museum, which repurposed the murals for a broad, national audience to commemorate the March on Washington.

One challenge was how do we unite the community at a tense and difficult time, when economic resources were low, communications were strained and the nation was erupting in response to systemic racism, racial inequality and police brutality. Another issue was uniting varied and diverse stakeholders with the public around sensitive and deeply-charged issues. Lastly, how do we help create broad change for our society and foster activities that help drive the national dialogue to address racial inequality and police brutality in America.

Project Details

Black Lives Matter Mural Project

DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID)


Public Space Management and Operations
$7500001 and over
District of Columbia

Project Resources