PRESS RELEASE: DowntownDC BID Unveils Mural at McPherson Square Metrorail Station


Fri. May 31, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC—The McPherson Square Metrorail Station is now home to public art thanks to an effort led by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), which commissioned a mural through DC non-profit, Words Beats & Life.

Lead artist Addison Karl created the colorful, three-panel mural entitled “In Service” to honor veterans throughout history. It was installed in the McPherson Square Metrorail Station’s Vermont Avenue entrance, which is located under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) headquarters Building.

The mural installation was made possible through support from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the US General Services Administration and the VA.

“The art adds new vibrancy, engagement and a sense of place to this DowntownDC public space,” BID President & CEO Neil Albert said May 30 at the mural unveiling event. “This is just the start of our work with WMATA and other partners on station enhancements throughout DowntownDC.”

“The murals enhance the station and provide a brighter station entrance, and most importantly, serve as a fitting tribute and expression of appreciation to our veterans,” Paul J. Wiedefeld, General Manager and CEO of WMATA, said Thursday. “With an average weekday ridership of this station of approximately 13,000, this mural will remind customers of the special sacrifice of veterans who answer the call to protect our nation.”

The mural includes portraits of service members throughout history and images of the US Marine Corps War Memorial, the African American Civil War Memorial and the US Air Force Memorial.

“It is our hope this tribute to those that serve and have served is well received serving a reminder to us all of the bravery and sacrifices that men and women in uniform have made and will continue to make for our country and our freedoms. This mural has special meaning to our lead artist and to me as both my mother and step-father are veterans, as was his grandfather,” said Words Beats & Life Founder and Executive Director Mazi A.E. Mutafa.

Local artists Michelle Chen, Cita Sadeli, Sadira Benge, Chaka Freeman, Rose Jaffe and Asad Walker served as assistant artists for the mural.

The mural is the first in a series of downtown Metrorail station enhancements around which the BID will be partnering with WMATA and private and public entities. The BID has already identified the addition a creative lightbox at the McPherson station to enhance lighting and aesthetics.

About the DowntownDC BID
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) was founded in 1997 and is a private non-profit organization that provides capital improvements, resources and research that keep the BID area clean, safe, economically and environmentally strong and accessible. The DowntownDC BID is a catalyst, facilitator and thought leader in diversifying the economy, promoting public/private partnerships and enhancing the DowntownDC experience for all. This special district, where property owners have agreed to tax themselves to fund services, encompasses a 138-block area of approximately 520 properties from Massachusetts Avenue on the north to Constitution Avenue on the south, and from Louisiana Avenue on the east to 16th Street on the west. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @downtowndcbid.