Since 1984, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, headed by Jane Golden, has overseen the creation of 4,000 murals on the sides of buildings throughout the city's neighborhoods. The goal, is to bring a sense of pride and the hope of better times. The city draws on artists from public schools and neighborhood residents for design ideas and to encourage the community to grab a paint brush and get involved. Today, it's seen as an essential element in community-building.
This activity brings people together on matters of common interest. The development of these murals involves, cooperating, sharing, and seeking and finding shared goals, and by developing ties on a cultural level. In doing so, it creates a greater difference in the health and well-being of individuals and neighborhoods.
One mural discussed had been completed at an addiction and recovery center. Some of the 1,200 artists who contributed to this work were patients.
"I'd make site visits here and people would say, I no longer feel like an addict; I feel like an artist,'" Jane Golden said, "Someone from the neighborhood who felt like, 'I cannot be near somebody here,' and suddenly it's humanizing, 'cause you're painting right next to someone who's very different from you, but are they really different, right? I mean, everybody has struggles."
CBS Sunday Morning, had a great story where I took some of the screen grabs below. Round of applause for bringing this to light and all the work the city and Jane Golden have done.