This is a community announcement from the Cornell Cooperative Extention Tompkins County and Ithaca Murals. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, please send them to Matt Butler at

Call for Mural Proposals: “Thriving Futures”

We are excited to announce opportunities for artists to create new public art this spring.

Ithaca Murals and Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County (CCETC) have partnered to launch a Spring 2023 public art campaign that will result in eleven artists painting ten murals on electrical boxes and one larger 40×15 ft. mural. 

Successful mural proposals will incorporate a theme of “Thriving Futures” — colorful visions of what a flourishing living environment might look like; a world where all members of our community thrive.

Artists are invited to enter proposals for electrical boxes, the wall or both. Electrical boxes are a colorful opportunity for local and regional artists while the wall is open to artists everywhere. One artist will be selected to paint a 40-foot wide mural on the Lincoln St. side of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Tompkins which is visible from Route 13. This muralist will be paid $6,000. Ten artists will have the opportunity to paint electrical boxes. These artists will be paid $450 each and are requested to attend 3 conversation sessions during April-June. These sessions will offer a space where artists can share about their artwork, visions for a thriving future, and learn about our city’s goals to create a better future for all.

What’s the timeline? The deadline for artists to submit their mural proposals is the first day of spring — Monday, March 20, 2023. Proposals will be juried by a panel of CCE staff and community justice leaders soon after, and artists will paint during the nice spring weather of May-June.

This batch of murals will be the largest set of electrical boxes painted at once since 2014. The new art will mark the conclusion of a community energy-efficiency program, Get Your GreenBack Tompkins (GYGB), and will also be connected to ongoing energy and climate-related efforts.

“The City approved a Green New Deal that commits to carbon neutrality by 2030 in a way that intentionally benefits traditionally marginalized people,” says Karim Beers, GYGB Tompkins coordinator. “We need to learn from each other to strategize how to do this. Artists can help us gain glimpses of ways we hadn’t thought of before.”

The completed works of art will be honored during a public event July 9th at Stewart Park, during a celebration of the community’s efforts during over a decade of GYGB.

“We’re organizing this initiative at a time when we have some big choices to make about the future of our world,” says Ithaca Murals facilitator Caleb R Thomas. “We need people everywhere thinking about justice and sustainability — schools, community centers, businesses, organizations, government, and all sectors of society. This is an opportunity to engage artists and for people to rally creatively toward a just and sustainable future.”

Interested artists can learn more at