Urban ArtWorks was developed in 1995 as a result of the SODO Business Association’s desire to clean up trash and graffiti along the busway in Seattle’s industrial zone.
A plan was developed to enrich the surroundings and discourage graffiti by creating murals throughout the area now known as the SODO Urban Art Corridor. The collaboration of private and public partners facilitated the creation of an arts program for at-risk youth centered on the development these murals. Urban ArtWorks incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1998, and the scope of our work has expanded far beyond SODO and the corridor.
Today, our organization works full time to promote the arts, and produce new public artworks across the entirety of Seattle. Our youth programming continues to empower young people through professional opportunities in the arts.

By The Numbers

In 20 years of service to King County, Urban ArtWorks has been established as an effective program that works with at-risk youth before and after they enter the juvenile justice system with tremendous results as proof:

  • More than 70% of the youth in our mural programs do not re-offend, and leave our program prepared for their next steps in life.
  • We’ve created more than 500 murals for schools, parks, businesses and construction sites; that’s enough vibrant artwork to cover five Seahwawks fields!
  • More than 2,000 at-risk youth have been provided with mentoring, arts education, and job training.
  • We’ve engaged more than 3,500 kids by leading art projects for numerous youth groups and schools.
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