The following was sent from CHNNA and could also apply to call boxes in the Rosedale neighborhood too.


The Capitol Hill North Neighborhood Association (CHNNA), in collaboration with Cultural Tourism DC (CTDC), seeks artists to participate in Art on Call.CHNNA is bounded by Florida Avenue NE to the north, G Street NE to the south, 8th Street NE to the east, and the train tracks to the west.

For this project, the term artist covers a broad range of participants, from professional artists to amateurs, students, and children. This public arts project is a city-wide effort led by Cultural Tourism DC to restore Washington, DC's abandoned police and fire call boxes as public works of art. For more than 100 years these cast-iron communication devices were the quickest way to call the fire department or the best way for policemen to check in with headquarters. Today, of course, while these finely detailed and very heavy eye-catchers no longer serve their original purpose, they afford a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Washington’s neighborhoods to express their identities.

The project requires artists to use existing call boxes as a virtual canvas, applying an image or design to a permanent medium that can be inserted or applied to the call box area. The artwork may be two or three dimensional, as long as it is composed of materials that will be durable, safe, weather-resistant, and require minimal maintenance in an urban environment. Artwork that can be reproduced in a durable form (such as a painting or picture transferable to embedded fiberglass) is also acceptable.

Only call boxes that have been primed by DDOT may be selected for restoration. Work to be installed may not include text in excess of 10 words or commercial advertisements/logos, etc. (The affixed plaque will cite artist and sponsorship information.) Artwork may include historical photographs, but historical photographs alone are prohibited. Art should generally be in color and must be able to be reproduced or rendered on a permanent, vandal- and graffiti- resistant surface that is welded into the box. Artist may work in almost any media including, but not limited to, paint/pencil, collage, photography, sculpture, digital (no video or audio, please). All 3-D submissions should be submitted as a high-quality photograph or digital scan.

• 1100 Block of 3rd Street NE (near Uline Arena)
• 7th and L Streets NE
• 5th & I Streets NE (southwest corner)
• Florida Ave. & 5th St. NE (southeast corner)
• Alley south of 1125 5th St. NE

CHNNA intends to select one call box for restoration at this time, with the intent of restoring the remaining call boxes in the near future. Suggested themes for capturing the rich history and culture of CHNNA’s neighborhood would be the Uline Arena (site of Beatles’ first U.S. concert and renowned sports/entertainment venue), the Florida Avenue Market, H Street (site of the 1968 riots, streetcars, ‘mom and pop’ businesses, and theatres), community churches, or Gallaudet University. Artist submission does not guarantee use of, or participation in, the project. Preference will be given to local DC residents, particularly those living or working within the CHNNA boundaries, but does not exclude consideration of non-residents.

Examples of completed projects in various media can be found in the following neighborhoods:

Dupont Circle - 22 call boxes located between 15th and 23rd Streets and N and T Streets, NW.

Mt. Pleasant - 10 call boxes located between Mount Pleasant Road and Walbridge Place and between Irving and Newton Streets, NW.

Sheridan-Kalorama - 16 call boxes located between Massachusetts and Connecticut Avenues and Decatur Place and Belmont Road, NW.

Tenleytown - 11 call boxes located between 37th and 44th Streets and Upton and Chesapeake Streets, NW.

Woodley Park - 8 call boxes located between Connecticut Avenue and 32nd Street and Woodley Road and Cortland Place, NW


Art on Call grants are available for up to $1,000 per call box to fund selected artist’s fees, materials/supplies, and installation costs. Artists will retain all property rights and ownership to the original artwork which will be returned to Artist after fabrication. All reasonable efforts will be made to protect the original artwork.

Sponsors and donors are being solicited to assist in funding the costs of the CHNNA call box projects. Sponsors/donors will be asked to match the expenses for artist’s fees, materials/supplies, and installation costs in order to be recognized on the plaque.

REWARDS Recognition, Publicity and Visibility

Artists’ names and contact information will be prominently displayed on an attractive plaque attached to the designated call box. This visibility will expose the artist and sponsors/donors over the years to hundreds of area residents and visitors.


• Overlay or otherwise draw the color scheme on a graphic version of a callbox using the attached CTdc template which identifies all the parts.
• Submit one or more full-color sketches/renditions of artwork (to scale if possible).
• Additionally, each neighborhood is encouraged to adopt a color palette for the call box itself including the base, pedestal, vase, housing and top pole. If selected, these colors will become CHNNA’s signature colors. Artists are permitted to recommend the color or colors that will identify all of CHNNA’s artistic icons.


June 24 – Artistic approaches/sketches/renderings are due for review
June 30 – Selected artist required to provide a description of materials along with an estimated budget.
July 21 thru Sep 20 – Install art in call boxes


Artwork may be submitted via the following methods:
• Email to deloftin@hotmail.com
• In person or by mail to Debbie Loftin, 1169 6th St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-3444


• For information on recommended materials and processes, consult with CTdc’s Carmen Harris, Project Associate of Heritage Programs, at 202.626.1132.
• For information on CHNNA, please visit our website at www.chnna.org .
• For information about the call box project, or to volunteer to assist on this project or any other CHNNA project, please contact Debbie Loftin of CHNNA’s Arts and Humanities Committee.

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