Mural Arts Program

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The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is an anti-graffiti mural program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The program was founded in 1986 under the direction of local artist, Jane Golden, as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, with the goal of facilitating collaboration between professional artists and prosecuted graffiti vandals to create new murals in the city. It also works with community groups to educate children in the arts and involve them in the creation of murals.[1] The program is currently one of the largest employers of artists in Philadelphia, employing more than 300 artists each year; including more than 100 prosecuted graffiti vandals.

History[edit]

In 1984, artist Jane Golden approached Tim Spencer, then head of the Panama Anti-Graffiti Network, in hopes of creating a new program under the group name "umbrella". Spencer had initially envisioned a program which would rehabilitate graffiti artists and lead them towards other art forms. In the end, Golden's proposal won and the Mural Arts Program was created.[2] The Program works with community groups to educate and involve children in the arts and the creation of murals throughout the city.[1]

Two years later, in 1986, the Mural Arts Project, led by Jane Golden,[2][1] was founded as a division of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network.[3][4]

In 1991, Philadelphia was awarded the, "Innovation in American Government Award," for the success of the Mural Arts Project in and around Philadelphia.[4][5][6]

The Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network was absorbed by the Philadelphia Recreation Department and the Mural Arts Program, and was elevated to an independent entity under the Philadelphia Recreation Department.[3][4] The Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates was founded as a nonprofit corporation to raise funds for the Mural Arts Program.[7]

In 1998, mural artist Meg Saligman created "Common Threads" at Broad and Spring Garden Streets. The work comments on the shared history of humanity through the juxtaposition of classical sculptural forms with those of local high school students.[8]

On a royal visit in 2007, the Prince of Wales, Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited the Donald Gensler Mural "Reading: A Journey," at 40th and Pennsgrove Streets. The visit was intended to display the program and demonstrate how the murals have inspired regeneration in the West Philadelphia Neighborhood. Prince Charles was interested in the potential of creating a similar project in London [9]

In 1984, several overactive graffiti taggers were given the option to either go to jail or take part in a new city beautification initiative. Since then, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has overseen the creation of over 3,800 pieces of art painted on sides of buildings. Of those art pieces painted on buildings, 2,000 are still viewable by the public, making this collection the “World’s Largest Outdoor Art Gallery.”

Legacy[edit]

The Mural Arts Program is responsible for the creation of the largest mural in Philadelphia at 600 feet (180 m) in length. Titled History of Immigration, the mural displays settlers of different ethnicities who settled in Philadelphia over time. The murals painted by the program are on average the height of a three-story row house and 35 feet (11 m) wide. The average cost of each mural was $10,000–$15,000, including artist's commissions and supplies.[10]

The program is currently one of Philadelphia's largest employers of artists, employing more than 300 artists annually. The program also hires more than 100 prosecuted graffiti vandals every year and involves them in the creation of murals around Philadelphia. Currently[when?], the program employs 36 former graffiti artists as staff members on permanent payroll and; involves more than 300 children a year in art programs.[3] During the 2001–2004 Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, the Mural Arts Program painted over 600 murals around Philadelphia.[11] In February 2006, the city of Watertown, New York asked Jane Golden to speak in hopes of creating a similar program in their community.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Jane Golden, Robin Rice, Natalie Pompilio: More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell". Temple University. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  2. ^ a b "Philadelphia Weekly Online: Hit the Wall". Philadelphia Weekly Online. October 18, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mural Arts Program: About Us". Mural Arts Program. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  4. ^ a b c "Philadelphia Department of Recreation: Cultural Programs: Mural Arts". Philadelphia Department of Recreation. Retrieved November 14, 2006. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN)". United States Department of Agriculture: National Agriculture Library. Archived from the original on August 27, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Government Innovators Network: Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network". John F. Kennedy School of Government. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Mural Arts Program: About Us: Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates". Mural Arts Program. Archived from the original on October 14, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  8. ^ Saligman, Meg. "Common Threads". MegSaligman.com. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  9. ^ Maykuth, Andrew; Stoiber, Julie (January 13, 2007). "Royal plan to see murals while here". Philly.com. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Philadelphia in color". Temple News. October 10, 2004. 
  11. ^ "Philadelphia Neighborhood Transformation Initiative 2004 Report" (PDF). City of Philadelphia. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2006. 
  12. ^ "Press Release". Watertown Downtown Development. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′55″N 75°10′01″W / 39.96531°N 75.16695°W / 39.96531; -75.16695