Channeling Murals Project Designed to Support System Youth and Economic Development in Ventura County

A group photo of men and women, standing along the side of the moon ditch drainage channel, with a partly cloudy sky in the background.

The aesthetic benefits of a mural go without saying- they beautify drab walls, help to reduce vandalism, and brighten-up neighborhoods through their color and imagery.  But when it comes to the overall benefits, did you know they also help support local businesses, create work opportunities, and create important places of pride and connection in communities?

The County of Ventura’s Channeling Murals project, planned for the Moon Ditch Drainage and Overflow Channel off Highway 101 near the Ventura Auto Center in the City of Ventura, aims to check all these boxes.  It is a collaborative project that involves the County Supervisorial District 1 Office, Ventura County Public Works Agency – Watershed Protection, Ventura County Probation Agency, County Arts and Culture Division, and the Ventura County Arts Council. Local artists will work with justice-involved youth, alongside other community and County agencies, to design and install a nearly mile-long mural inside the channel.


So how will this project beautify our community, support our economy, and support Ventura County’s system involved youth?  Simply put, here’s the plan:

The County intends on launching a request for proposals from local artists to receive design ideas for the project. Once the design is selected, a teams of artists will be paired with system involved youth to finalize the design and install the mural.  The mural, the largest in Ventura County, will be visible off the 101, Metrolink and Amtrak lines, and the nearby street.  Community engagement will help lessen the likelihood of future vandalism. Local artists get paid, youth get work experience on a public art project, the community gets a mural, and a landmark is created at an important commercial corridor for the area.

The best part?  This project is being recognized at the national level through the awarding of a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant.

This is about more than “art for art’s sake.” This is about how art, and creativity, can connect us, support our local economy (jobs, workforce development, customers, etc.), and create opportunity where there otherwise not be any.   It’s the economic and social impact of arts and culture, folks, which is exactly what we are looking at in our arts, culture, and creative economy strategic plan for Ventura County.

More to come… don’t forget to check out our events page for more information on the mural, artist opportunities, and community paint days.