19 gen 2013

Philadelphia Mural Arts Program transforms the city’s landscape.

TheMural Arts Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began in 1984 as part of a campaign to eradicate graffiti citywide. The Anti-Graffiti Network hired muralist Jane Golden to reach out to graffiti writers and to redirect their energies from destructive graffiti writing to constructive mural painting. Since then, over 3.000 murals have been realized.

Mural painting they created instantly added color, beauty, and life to a tired, industrial city struggling with dozens of economic distress and population loss. The outcomes of the program were nothing less than magical! From the beginning, Golden witnessed how mural-making changed lives and how the murals themselves began to mend the urban aesthetic fabric, each has become a distinctive part of the city’s streetscapes.
The murals also provided a support structure for these young men and women to refine their artistic skills, empowering them to take an active role in beautifying their own neighborhoods. The program is currently one of Philadelphia's largest employers of artists, employing over 300 artists a year.

Public art programs provides a unique opportunity for local engagement. Over the years, Philadelphia’s Mural Art Program has brought artists and community members, schools, grassroots organizations together in a collaborative process that transforms public spaces and individual lives. A recent endeavor of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is The Porch Light Initiative.

The Porch Light Initiative is a three-year program that creates partnerships between health service providers, artists, residents, and individuals receiving treatment for behavioral health challenges. Together these partnerships create public art that raises awareness for community health. 

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photo credits Murals.org

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