Phillies player Chase Utley and his philanthropist wife Jennifer Utley joined the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) and the School District of Philadelphia at 22nd and Dauphin Streets to premiere and dedicate the Be Kind To Animals mural.
“Together we are trying to inspire change in our behavior through art,” said Jane Golden, executive director of the Mural Arts Program and one of three artists on the mural, including Willis Humphrey and Gabe Tiberino. Humphrey said it is important to raise awareness about animals, and wanted to be apart of the mural with hopes that it would beautify the North Philadelphia neighborhood while initiating conversation about animal cruelty. “This area in particular was noted as one that had a lot of dog fighting so the Utley Foundation and Mural Arts thought it would be good to raise awareness around how to treat animals and the positive relationships we should build with them,” said Humphrey.
Patricia Mazzuca, Assistant Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, recounted the time, effort, and money that were invested in the project, and hopes that it will build the self esteem of neighbors and show that others believe in the success of the community.
Sixth grade valedictorian Shakirah Brumbly and other students welcomed The Utley’s and were proud they had the opportunity to help paint the mural, and inspire the overall design. “I like that you can see a story behind the whole picture in the mural. My friend Shanay wrote a sad story about a dog and she won a contest and her picture got to be on the mural,” said Brumbly. “It helps for kids my age to see the beauty in animals and that they should be treated well, too, because they are living creatures.”
Sponsored By: The Utley Foundation, City of Philadelphia
- Mercedes Lee, intern