More murals will be brightening up the sides of businesses in Santa Monica after the City Council voted to allocate $22,000 in matching funds to mural projects led by Beautify Earth.

The non-profit started as a local effort to beautify Lincoln Boulevard, but has since expanded to a global force. Beautify Earth is responsible for painting 50 murals in Santa Monica alone. Now they have the funds to paint even more walls in the City.

“Paint is the easiest, simplest, most impactful way to fix a very serious, third world problem,” founder Evan Meyer said of his organization’s plan to solve blight.

The city approved enough money to do five murals in the Mid City area on Broadway and Colorado Boulevard and five on Pico Boulevard, according to Meyer. Now that they have the funds, organizers can finalize plans with businesses and artists to get the projects started. Mid City Neighbors President Stacy Dalgleish says murals are a perfect fit for her “creative town.”

“Mid City desperately needs more of this forward thinking and beautification,” Dalgleish wrote in a letter to the City asking for the funds to paint murals. “It completely transforms a visitor’s experience.”

The neighborhood association has already completed three murals along Broadway at Broadway Wine and Liquor, the American Red Cross building at 11th Street and Golden Bridge Yoga at 7th Street. An abstract mural on Cross Campus at 10th Street and Colorado is visible from the Expo Light Rail.

The Mid City project was inspired by a successful mural campaign on Pico Boulevard lead by the Pico Improvement Organization and Beautify Earth. You can now follow a walking tour to view the twelve murals along Pico, and the business organization already has plans to commission ten more.

“Once you start clustering the art, people see what’s going on,” Meyer said. “People get excited. They start taking responsibility for their own properties. We don’t want to paint all the murals. We want to inspire others to create positive change in their own environment.”

In August, artists Ruben Rojas and Sel Blanco completed a mural at 2114 Pico Blvd in just under three days. Instead of a blank wall, a beautiful woman now looks toward the street as her hair blends into the clouds and the cosmos. The mural, called “Create” features paper planes to remind the onlooker of a time of childhood adventures, according to Beautify Earth.

“There’s nothing worse than blight,” Meyer said. “A lot of our mission is to get people over this hurdle, this fear.”

While some businesses have already expressed an interest in transforming their exterior, no contracts have been signed yet for the new projects.

kate@www.smdp.com