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Philly's Mural Arts Program

October 1, 2013 4:24:54 AM PDT
30 years ago, Philadelphia launches the Anti-Graffiti Network to deter wall-writers from vandalism and redirect them through art projects.

It's been deemed a success. In 1997, the city added something else...the Mural Arts Program. Today, hundreds of buildings in neighborhoods city-wide have been adorned with murals.

In each, artists, residents and community leaders come together to agree on a site and a design. They agree on how long a project should last.

Some murals are intended to be temporary while others are planned to last in perpetuity. In the latter case, the organizers also agree on maintenance when needed.

If possible, the artist who designed and painted the mural is engaged to keep it up-to-date. Jane Golden has been running these programs since day one. Today, what she prefers to call "public art" touches Philadelphians from all walks of life.

It builds neighborhood pride, often giving residents a sense of purpose and pride of ownership. We visited "Philadelphia Muses", the mural at 13th and Locust in Center City designed and painted by artist Meg Saligman.

She also maintains it when necessary. It's all typical of what happens with hundreds of murals in every city neighborhood.

Today, some 2,000 buildings are on a waiting list for murals. Each is funded by a combination if city funding, sponsorship, and private contributions.

You're invited to learn more about the Mural Arts Program and its many events. You'll find information on all programs and calendar events.

While you're there, you can also explore how you may contribute to the program. You can browse images of the city's murals there.

You'll find a shopping link where books of the murals and individual images are for sale. You may also phone the program at 215-685-0750.


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