People who visit the Media District in Burbank can expect to see lots of fresh art over the next few months.
The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission is moving into the third phase of its utility-box beautification program, in which utility boxes are painted by various artists in an effort to improve the aesthetics of the city.
The commission has identified 14 utility boxes this time around, up from five boxes that were beautified in 2017. The program started as a pilot project in 2015.
At the end of this phase, there will be 26 utility boxes, which range from traffic boxes to electrical boxes, throughout the city decorated through the commission’s program.
Some of the box locations include the corner of Alameda Avenue and Riverside Drive, across from Bob’s Big Boy, Hollywood Way and Olive Avenue, near Warner Bros. Studio Gate 4, and Riverside Drive and California Street, near the New York Film Academy.
Suzanne Weerts, a member of the Cultural Arts Commission, said a committee is scheduled to review 75 applications for the project, an increase from previous years.
“What I love about this project is how it’s going to bring color and creativity in the community,” she said. “I get very excited when I’m driving around Burbank and I see the boxes from phase one and phase two. It’s beautiful.”
A unique element about this phase is its funding.
Marisa Garcia, the acting parks and recreation director, said this third phase will use a combination of donations and money from the city’s Art in Public Places Fund, generated from developer fees.
The previous phases were funded solely through donations from the public and business sponsors.
“The city’s General Fund has not been utilized at all for all three phases of this project,” Garcia said.
She added that the program has received significant positive feedback from residents, and that the Cultural Arts Commission has worked hard to come up with different themes for each set of boxes that are decorated.
This year’s theme is “World of Entertainment,” while last year’s theme was “A World of Possibilities.” The first phase’s theme was “Just Imagine.”
“Sure, we could hire 50 or 100 artists to paint 100 boxes all at once, which would be great, but doing it phases gives you more of a variety,” she said.