Friends of the Rivers and City Utilities is in the second year of its CLEAN DRAINS FORT WAYNE: Be River SmART initiative.

Clean Drains Fort Wayne is an education and community outreach/engagement project that uses art to convey the message … only rain in the drain.

Through message-oriented storm drain art murals, this program raises awareness that any trash, grass clippings, dop poop and chemicals that find their way into the city’s storm drains, go directly (and untreated) into Fort Wayne’s three rivers.

Joan Means

Clean Drains is a lucky duck with the fabulous drain storm mural Joan Means painted during Open Streets.

Kristy Jahn

Kristy Jahn works on her storm drain mural during Open Streets 2022

Storming the Drains with New Murals

Colorful, Clever Art Helps Keep Rivers Clean

The artists of CLEAN DRAINS FORT WAYNE: Be River SmART take to the streets in the year two collaboration between Friends of the Rivers and City Utilities.

The collaboration puts a spotlight on the role of the humble storm drain in protecting our waterways through the creative masterstroke of storm drain murals designed by local artists. Each mural is unique, but everyone communicates the singular message … only rain in the drain.

Through these message-oriented storm-drain art murals, Clean Drains Fort Wayne raises awareness that any trash, grass clippings, dog poop and chemicals that find their way into the city’s storm drains go directly (and untreated) in Fort Wayne’s three rivers.

Clean Drains Fort Wayne has announced the selection of the 37 artists who will be creating the storm drain murals throughout the community this summer and fall.

“This year, we had a much more competitive artist application process, and the collection of selected artists represents both emerging and professional artists,” said Alexandra Hall, artist coordinator for Clean Drain Fort Wayne.

“This educational initiative has proven to not only be a powerful mechanism for education and public engagement, but also a wonderful platform for creatives in our community.”

Fort Wayne’s vibrant riverfront and waterways are essential to the region’s quality of life and economic vitality. Collective vigilance and action are required to protect these enduring natural assets from pollutants.

The following are the artists selected for the four quadrants and downtown.

Northeast & Northwest

Note: Artists will be out July 16- 24 painting their storm drain murals

  • Jennifer Whitelow
  • Miranda Thomas
  • Cassidy Merkle
  • Grace Yencer
  • Aubrie Lamb
  • Debera Kuntz
  • Ava Harris
  • Scott Eastom
  • Anastasia McNabb
  • Laura Monnier

Southeast & Southwest

Note: Artists will be out August 13-21 painting their storm drain murals

  • Elizabeth Stavitzke
  • Kelsey Herber
  • Amanda McNamara
  • Meghan Wilhelm
  • Lucretia Derloshon
  • Suzanne Rhee
  • Bonnie Andrews
  • Autumn Fox
  • Autumn Coffing
  • Danielle Bloxson
  • Joan Means
  • Kristy Jahn

Downtown Fort Wayne

Note: Artists will be out September 10 – 17 painting their storm drain murals

  • Elizabeth Ea
  • Lawrence Davis, Jr.
  • Kari Larsen
  • Jeremy Stroup
  • Bryan Ballinger
  • Maria del Pilar Arrieta
  • Nancy Fritz
  • Addeline Griswold
  • Karen Bulmahn
  • Julia Bridges
  • Jeff Anderson
  • Ron Lewis
  • John Klein
  • Jake Patten

Click the button to view the orientation presentation for the Clean Drains Mural Project for artists. 

  • Painting of Artist Storm Drain Murals
    • The date depends on which city quadrant storm drain is located.
    • July 16-24, 2022
    • August 13-21, 2022
    • September 2022 
  • Artist Recognition & Celebration
    • Clean Drains Fort Wayne Fest on September 25, 2022

Selected artists to paint storm drains will be provided with all necessary supplies & materials including:

  • Drain site/location assignment (City Utilities will clean and prepare the drain site for painting)
  • Paint (Primary colors: red, blue, yellow, white and black) and clear top-coat
  • Painting supplies and materials including safety brushes, street cones, etc.
  • A monetary gift to thank artists for participation and involvement
All storm drain art murals MUST include a message that generates awareness and conveys the message…only rain in the drain.  There are four acceptable messages that artists may use in their storm-drain art murals and which one the artists has chosen to incorporate into his/her/their artwork must be identified in the application. The selected awareness messages that may be used in the painted storm drain include:
The storm drain message should be painted adjacent to a storm drain on the sidewalk and/or curb. Painting on the street or on the metal drain is not permitted.

All artists from hobbyists and enthusiasts to professionals are welcomed to apply. Artists should be 18 years or older. If younger than 18-years-of-age, a signed permission slip from a parent/guardian must be provided. 

For questions or additional information, please reach out to Clean Drains Fort Wayne Artist Coordinator, Alexandra Hall,


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