City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. In its first 25 years, the Mural Arts Program has created more than 3,000 murals that have become an integral part of Philadelphia’s landscape. The Mural Arts Program works with more than 100 communities each year to create murals that reflect the culture of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Mural projects often include the stabilization of abandoned lots and revitalization of open spaces. The program strives to coordinate mural projects with existing strategies for community development, thereby leveraging grassroots social capital to build positive momentum and stronger results. The Mural Arts Program is filling the void of opportunities for young people to participate in the arts in Philadelphia through a variety of targeted art education programs. It has also taken a pro-active role in dealing with issues around crime and delinquency by increasing the programs available to adult inmates at local correctional facilities, ex-offenders re-entering their communities, juveniles arrested for minor crimes and in residential placement, chronically truant youth, residents of crime-impacted neighborhoods, and victims of crime. TheMural Arts Program has pioneered the Healing Walls project which has inmates and victims’ rights organizations creating murals together inside Graterford Prison. The murals are then installed in crime inflicted communities. MAP’s Greenfield Restorative Justice Project operates in a similar way with juvenile offenders in probation/parole settings working with community leaders on community arts projects that benefit their home communities. Projects such as these are designed to provide offenders an opportunity to make restitution to those they’ve injured while learning the positive values and history of the places they reside, and then being accepted back into the community.