"This We Believe" mural project was a collaborations between The Mural Arts Program, WHYY and the Penn Project on Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.

The "Audio Murals" were produced by Elisabeth Perez Luna and Mike Villers


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This We Believe:
A Mural For The Whole City

It takes a city to make a mural, particularly to design one trying to capture the essence of what it is to be a Philadelphian. This project is based on the contributions of more than 300 people who gathered this year to tell stories about what Philadelphia means to them.

The stories and voices inspired three artists - Eric Okdeh, Michelle Ortiz and Kien Nguyen - to design the This We Believe mural displayed at 30th Street Station (from September 25th to Otober 11th) and later at the Gallery at Market East.

Click on the images below to enlarge

Audio Mural

WHYY producer Elisabeth Perez Luna has assembed some of the stories in these podcastable "AUDIO MURALS." So this is an invitation to download the segments and bring them with you when you look at the mural. You'll hear the voices behind the images. Enjoy!

To download the audio right click on the links below and choose "Save Link As"

Download Podcast 1 »

Download Podcast 2 »

The Collaborative Process

To start the dialogues that fed creation of the "This We Believe Mural", the Mural Arts Program which is celebrating it's 25th anniversary, the Project for Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and WHYY joined forces to create a series of six community meeting covering the entire city: South, North and West Philadelphia, Northeast and Northwest, and Center City.

Participants were invited to talk about how they wanted the city to be portrayed, what inspired them - or discouraged them - about living in Philadelphia, what were the best and worst memories of living here.

Those who took part held little back. They talked about a city for which they feel an angry love, that peculiar local mixture of unsparing candor and stubborn loyalty. They told some stories that elicited laughter and optimism, others that were met by distress and tears.

Since Febrary 2009, we have been documenting the process and here are some links to our stories and the stories of the people who made the mural possible.

May 22nd, 2009

-Winning city-wide mural design unveiled - (It's Our City)

May 22nd, 2009

-Winning city-wide mural unveiled

March 23rd, 2009

-Mural arts to capture essence of Philadelphia in one image

March 17th, 2009

-"This We Believe" gets stories from the Northeast

February 26th, 2009

-"This We Believe" meets in South Philly

For more information about this project please visit muralarts.org