Above all, art for all.

Murals & More, The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing local architecture as the backdrop for public art in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We connect artists with space for them to create and inspire.

We believe in the power of art that is accessible to all, fostering a sense of belonging and opportunity for thought, contributing to our community’s identity and sense of place, enriching cultural vibrancy as a reflection of our community and the people who live here.

The benefits are huge.

A strong public art ecosystem has been recognized by Americans for the Arts as a tool for economic growth and sustainability, influencing attachment and cultural identity, embracing artists as innovators and problem-solvers, building social cohesion and cultural understanding, and improving public health and belonging.

Public art…

is a tool for economic growth and sustainability

influences attachment and cultural identity

embraces artists as innovators and problem-solvers

builds social cohesion and cultural understanding

improves public health and belonging

Inspired by a trip to Alaska.

The idea of creating a “trail of murals” began when two Cedar Rapidians, Bob and Lynn Ocken, were visiting the small town of Seward, Alaska. They discovered various murals telling the story of the town, its people and culture. As they wandered from mural to mural, they became fascinated with the possibilities this concept could bring to the Cedar Rapids community, particularly after the devastation of the 2008 flood.

Upon returning home, instead of forgetting about the idea, Lynn discussed the possibilities with many local organizations and community leaders. Lynn was met with so much enthusiasm and encouragement that she enlisted the help of others to move the idea to fruition to bring a trail of murals to Cedar Rapids.

And now what once started as an idea in Alaska is being put into action in Cedar Rapids. With the Ocken’s efforts and support of community members, the inaugural mural was unveiled in May 2012 in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Our typical process

No two projects are ever the same. With any project, at least three components need to align to move forward: 1) a location and support of the property owner, 2) stellar artistic talent, and 3) funding that fully compensates artists for the value of their work.

a location and support of the property owner

stellar artistic talent

funding that fully compensates artists for the value of their work

Location: our organization is always on the lookout for blank spaces as a potential canvas. We are often approached by groups or property owners interested in a project with a specific location in mind. Murals & More prioritizes installations on private property and must secure an agreement with the building owner before moving forward with any project. Art installations on public property in Cedar Rapids are subject to review of the Visual Arts Commission. Some buildings may also be subject to state historic preservation requirements. If you have a location in mind for a mural, please contact us.

Artists: as an organization that is passionate about supporting artists, Murals & More aims to attract a diverse mix of people and talents to add unique perspectives and character to the public art scene. We maintain an ever-growing list of talented artists as potential candidates for new projects. Depending on the nature of the project, we may select an artist privately from our list or publish a request for proposals. 

Funding: As a non-profit organization, Murals & More relies on charitable donations from individuals, businesses, and community partners interested in supporting our mission. Some projects have a single funding source, such as a community partner or local business. Other projects take years to fundraise with contributions from many different sources. As advocates for artists, it is our priority to ensure artists are appropriately compensated for the value of their work. 

Projects we don’t do.

While we love to see art just about everywhere, our priority is publicly-accessible spaces. We avoid getting involved in projects at private interior spaces or any other location that cannot be seen by all.

Get involved!

Murals & More is a grassroots, citizen-driven organization. We need the community’s involvement to make these projects happen. Whether you are a creative type who can assist with ideas for marketing or you are a hands on, organized personality, we are always looking for people who can provide their time and dedication.

Committees you can be a part of:

  • Trail Development and Implementation Committee: Covers future trail development including locations, building owners, and themes, as well as all aspects related to the mural including budgets, materials, installation, lighting and recognition plaques.
  • Artist Committee: Oversees all aspects related to artists including selection, communication, monitoring and negotiating.
  • Fundraising Committee: Manages grant writing; events; solicitations; bequests; foundation for the Society and the murals.
  • Marketing and Communication Committee: Provides ongoing, relevant and strategic outreach and communications to community on the society and mural projects.
  • Event Planning Committee: Creates, coordinates and implements any and all events related to the mural project and assists all committees with their event needs.
  • Donor and Volunteers Committee: Organizes recruitment, involvement, communication, documentation and appreciation of donors and volunteers.

If you’re interested in learning about how you can be involved, contact us to set up a conversation.

Your support means so much.

We are an approved 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax-exempt. Please consider a financial contribution to Murals & More to support our mission.

Individual donations: your donation allows us to dream big. Each dollar brings us closer to making a project a reality.  You can make a contribution online now.

Sponsorships: If you’re an organization who would like to partner with Murals & More by sponsoring one of our projects or events, please click here to contact us and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

We appreciate your support!