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A Place to Call Home

Produced by Karen Smyles

August 2012

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. Since it began, the Mural Arts Program has produced over 3,000 murals which have become a cherished part of the civic landscape and a great source of inspiration to the millions of residents and visitors who encounter them each year.

The Mural Arts Program began in 1984 as a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, an effort spearheaded by then Mayor Wilson Goode to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city. 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. In 1996, Mayor Ed Rendell announced that the Anti-Graffiti Network would be reorganized into the Mural Arts Program, with Golden as the director.

In 2011 The Mural Arts Program partnered with several local social and cultural organizations to bring to light the rising issue of homelessness facing urban children and youth. Three unique art projects were created in the Mantua section of the city that made up A Place to Call Home. Friday Arts spoke with Mural Arts Program Director, Jane Golden to find out how it all came together and visited the 3800 block of Melon Street to see first-hand, how it impacted the community. WHYY 91-FM was a media partner on the A Place To Call Home project with the Mural Arts Program and produced a series of segments that focus on the issue of homelessness.

Watch and learn more about the Mural Arts Project!Edited by Larry Goodwin