Protecting Visual Storytelling: Strategies for Mural Documentation and Preservation

Protecting Visual Storytelling: Strategies for Mural Documentation and Preservation

This three-hour online seminar will instruct historic preservation professionals and community stakeholders on the existing tools and potential methods for documenting, protecting and preserving murals. You will delve into both the current tools that exist for the documentation of historic murals as well as innovative programs that can be leveraged for murals that may not fall under traditional historic preservation criteria.

During the program you will learn about: the existing historic preservation frameworks for murals, include methods for documentation, designation, and protection; local mural programs and ordinances that help to document and fund the maintenance of community murals and recognize key stakeholders, including property owners, artists, and community members; legal frameworks that exist outside of historic preservation that relate to murals and artists’ rights; documentation strategies that utilize innovative technologies, such as 3D visualization and augmented reality, to record and provide interpretive context.             


10:00–10:15 am — Welcome, Speaker Introductions, and Session Overview

10:15–10:35 am — Registration and Protections for Murals (Lucha Martinez de Luna)
Lucha will explore the process of nominating murals to the National Register and local cultural historic districts, providing insights into the registration process and the protections it offers.

10:35–11:15 am — Mural Ordinances and Programs (Yami Duarte, Jessica Ramirez, and Carlos Rogel)
Yami and Jessica will present on mural ordinances and registration programs, with a focus on the Los Angeles Mural Ordinance. They will discuss the ordinance, registration, and process standardization, highlighting lessons learned from LA's approach.

Carlos will then use the LA vs. Hate case study to introduce concepts of integrating county-wide and local programs and preventative conservation efforts. He will cover some high-level technical aspects of mural preservation.

11:15–11:30 am — BREAK

11:30 am–11:50 am — Legal Frameworks for Public Murals (Dave Ratner)
Dave will provide a comprehensive overview of the legal frameworks for public murals, including copyright protections, rights granted by copyright, ownership distinctions, and the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and California Art Preservation Act (CAPA).

11:50–12:10 pm — Digital Documentation & Interpretation of Murals (Elizabeth Lee)
Elizabeth will focus on digital documentation’s role in preserving and interpreting murals. She will highlight Cyark’s 3D documentation technologies and discuss a UCSF case study on layering interpretive elements and increasing accessibility.

12:10–1:00 pm — Group Discussion / Q&A



Lucha Martínez de Luna, Chicano/a/x Murals of Colorado Project
Lucha Martínez de Luna is an archaeologist specializing in Mesoamerica and has worked on archeological projects in the Southwest, American West, and central and southern Mexico. She is the director of the O’na Tök archaeological site in Chiapas, Mexico, and a visiting professor at the University of Science and Arts of Chiapas. She serves as associate curator of Latino History and Culture at History Colorado and researches the Hispano people and arts in the Southwest of the United States. As the director of the Chicana/o/x Murals of Colorado Project, she advocates for protecting and preserving the ongoing visual heritage of Chicana/o/x public art.

Yami Duarte, Arts Manager, Murals Program, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Yamilette (Yami) M. Duarte was born into the mural world. As the only child of prolific Los Angeles-based artists, Yami spent her early years working alongside her parents as they led a successful art and design studio in Southern California and South East New Mexico. Inspired by her early exposure to art, Yami pursued a Fine Arts degree in commercial illustration at the celebrated Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. After graduating with honors, she launched Duarte Studio to help artists manage and fabricate large-scale public art projects which are installed across the country. In 2013, Yami began working for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, where she manages the City-wide Mural Program and oversees multiple historic mural conservation projects. Recently, she developed and launched the new Mural Works, Youth and Creative Workers Program, launched in Summer 2022, valued at $1M for the creation and conservation of up to 40 murals. Yami lives in a historic home in East Los Angeles with her family and a menagerie of small animals. 

Jessica Ramirez, Arts Associate, Murals Program, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Jessica is an Arts Associate for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, where she oversees the Mural Registration Program for the City of Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine where she double-majored in Art and Art History.  Jessica is also a mixed-media artist, whose personal background and educational foundation provides a deeper passion and understanding for maintaining the integrity and accessibility of public artworks and preserving the rich tapestry of Los Angeles’ mural heritage.  She will be pursuing an M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy with Specialized Training in Art Therapy at Loyola Marymount University in the Fall of 2024. She lives in Pacoima, with her family and beloved chihuahua, Chloe.

Carlos Rogel, CEO & Founder, MuralColors
Carlos Rogel is an experienced leader in the development, conservation, and management of murals and public art. He has led conservation projects and mural productions in Los Angeles, across California, and nationally. He regularly collaborates with artists and organizations across the country to support the implementation of new murals and the preservation of historic artworks. As a Co-Founder and CEO of MuralColors, a minority and women-owned business, Carlos advances the conservation of public art and environmental sustainability. MuralColors equips artists and communities with the technical resources and materials needed to create enduring, vibrant murals. He recently led the artistic production of the Summer of Solidarity mural initiative through Los Angeles County's LAvsHate campaign, and is a current Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs MuralWorks Grantee.

Dave Ratner, Principal, Creative Law Network 
It isn’t often that you run into a band manager turned lawyer, but that’s Dave Ratner. During his career in the music business as a tour manager, publicist, band manager and founder of his own management agency, Dave learned first-hand the important legal considerations and challenges creative professionals face. Dave channeled his passion for the creative arts into Creative Law Network, a law firm built specifically for creative professionals. As the principal of Creative Law Network he leads a team that is passionate about the arts, ensuring creative work is protected, and helping creatives leverage the law to maximize the value of their work. Dave has been one of 5280's Top Lawyers for Entertainment Law since the magazine began publishing its list of top lawyers and been named both Client's Best and Barrister's Best Entertainment Lawyer by Law Week Colorado. Dave is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Denver College of Law. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law, President of the Sports & Entertainment Section of the Colorado Bar Association, Advisory Committee Chair of Colorado Attorneys for the Arts, Vice Chair of the Board of Swallow Hill Music, a member of the Silverthorne Art Board, a Director on the Board of Breck Create, a member of the Board of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, and a graduate of Leadership Denver and Leadership Arts.

Elizabeth Lee, VP Programs and Development, CyArk
Elizabeth Lee is a seasoned professional with nearly two decades of experience in the field of cultural heritage. She currently serves as the Vice President for Programs and Development at CyArk, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using digital technologies to empower connections to historic places. In her role at CyArk, Elizabeth leads the development of international partnerships and technology-driven solutions for cultural heritage protection, education, and appreciation. Her work is focused on advancing CyArk's mission to create more equitable and respectful access to places and to lift up new voices to increase understanding of our shared human experience. She is a proud graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the US Chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).


Annabel Lee Enriquez, Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute
Annabel Lee Enriquez is a Project Specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute, where she has specialized in cultural heritage data, documentation and technology since 2013. In particular, she works to enable effective heritage conservation and management through the Arches Project, which aims to disseminate best practices and new technologies for cultural resource inventories. Prior to her work at the GCI, her research interests revolved around geospatial survey techniques and 3D documentation of heritage sites, and previous to working in heritage, her professional experience was in graphic design and marketing for architecture and real estate. Annabel received a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University, and an M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology from the University of Southern California with graduate studies in the Heritage Conservation program. Before making preservation her full-time career, Annabel was a volunteer Art Deco tour docent with the LA Conservancy, an experience which helped to instill in her a love for Interwar architecture and design as well as a desire for more people- and community-oriented efforts in heritage conservation.  

Erica Schultz, Owner, Forget Me Not History
Erica Schultz is the owner of Forget Me Not History, a preservation consulting firm based in San Francisco. She has nearly two decades of experience as an architectural historian and preservation planner specializing in archival research, historic resource evaluations, environmental compliance documents, and public interpretation for projects throughout California. She values the collaborative nature of historic preservation and enjoys the research process from sorting through archival documents to speaking with people with deep knowledge and memories of places. Erica holds a Master of Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, College Park. As a member of the California Preservation Foundation’s Education Committee, she has organized webinars on Mural Preservation and Community Activism in partnership with Annabel Lee Enriquez and Sites of Conscience.


Thank you to our program sponsor, California Lawyers for the Arts!

California Lawyers for the Arts [CLA] is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to provide legal services to artists and members of the creative arts community. California Lawyers for the Arts protects and promotes artists of all disciplines and the creative community by providing education, alternative dispute resolution, access to legal representation and advocacy.