Creating a work of progress does not mean making something incomplete. It means knowing that there is always room for improvement. It means making your mark again and again, and finding new ways to interact and inspire.
Through our work with mural painting, we transform the spaces around us to create continual progress. Progress is never over, and art ignites change at every step along the way.
Our communities are all works of progress. Everyone has something to contribute, and they continue to grow and change as we do. And as we affect change within our communities and within ourselves, each of us is a work of progress, too.
October 1: Happy Mural Arts Month
Once again this October, the City of Philadelphia will celebrate and commemorate the work and achievements of the Mural Arts Program. Over the next 31 days, we will celebrate the many new and special projects and our ongoing education and community engagement initiatives, as well as the people and communities we have worked with throughout the year. From projects that look at the issues around immigration and the criminal justice system to events that celebrate our artists and young people, Mural Arts Month includes events as diverse as our efforts and impact.
October 3: The Color of Your Voice
Celebrate the creativity and effort of artists Ernel Martinez, Keir Johnston, and Nina “Lyrispect” Ball, and the Porch Light program participants at Project H.O.M.E. and the Hank Gathers Recreation Center. The mural is a part of the Mural Arts Program’s Porch Light Initiative, which strives to improve the health of individuals and communities through human connection and art. Wednesday, October 3, 12:30 - 2 p.m. 2417 Ridge Ave
October 4: If These Walls Could Talk
Join author Maureen O’Connell for a special reading and intimate reception to celebrate her new book, If These Walls Could Talk, which explores the theological and social significance of the mural arts movement. O’Connell illustrates the ways that arts help us think about and work through the seemingly inescapable problems of urban poverty and arrive at responses that are both creative and effective.
October 5: Our Vision Our Testament / Aqui y Alla Reception
On Friday October 5, from 12:30 - 2 p.m. honor and celebrate the creativity and effort of artist James Burns and Porch Light program participants at S.T.O.P. (Sobriety Through OutPatient, Inc.). The mural is a part of the Mural Arts Program’s Porch Light Initiative, which strives to improve the health of individuals and communities through human connection and art. This dedication will take place at 2534 North Broad Street. At 5:30 p.m. you're invited the Aqui y Alla exhibit opening. Aqui y Alla is a transnational public art project directed by visual artist Michelle Angela Ortiz. The project explores the impact of immigration in the lives of Mexican youth in South Philadelphia in connection with youth in Chihuahua, Mexico. Four Mexican artists traveled to Philadelphia to conduct writing, street art and mural workshops with immigrant youth. This exhibit provides the opportunity to learn more about the impact of immigration on youth on both sides of the border. The exhibition will be at the Lincoln Financial Mural Arts Center at 1727-29 Mt. Vernon Street.
October 6: Maureen O'Connell
From 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Saturday October 6, join author Maureen O’Connell for a trolley tour and discussion of the faith-based murals that inspired her new book, If These Walls Could Talk, which explores the theological and social significance of the mural arts movement. Tour departs from Mural Arts at the Gallery. 9th and Market Streets, second level.
October 10: It Has to be From Here...
On Wednesday October 10 from 12:30 - 2 p.m., celebrate the creativity and effort of artist Betsy Casañas and Porch Light program participants at the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha / Association of Puerto Ricans on the March (APM). The mural is a part of the Mural Arts Program’s Porch Light Initiative, which strives to improve the health of individuals and communities through human connection and art.
October 11: A Conversation With Candy Chang
On Thursday October 11th from 6 - 8 p.m., join us for Art and Urban Change: A Conversation With Candy Chang. From Parking Day to pop-up gardens to street art, “tactical urbanism” is taking root in Philly. Can these projects be a means for catalyzing long-term urban change? Join us for a conversation with Candy Chang and James A. Reeves, principals of Civic Center and leaders in the movement to combine art, design, planning and activism. Admission is FREE but registration is required. Call 215.684.0753. This event will take place at the Asian Arts Initiative at 1219 Vine Street.
October 12: Written in Wood
Join us Friday October 12 at 5:30 p.m. for the Written in Wood mural dedication. An innovative collaboration between The Center for Art in Wood and the Mural Arts Program, this mural by artist Benjamin Volta highlights objects on view in the Center’s permanent collection, which includes objects from around the world, ranging from traditional functional everyday objects to contemporary sculpture. Participants in the Mural Arts Program’s Guild reentry program assisted in the creation of the work. 141 N. 3rd Street.
October 13: Philly Painting Walking Tour
On Saturday October 13th from 1 - 4 p.m. join us for a walking tour of the Philly Painting project. The spirit of transformation is at the heart of world-famous Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn’s work and of Mural Arts’ collaboration with a range of funding and civic partners to revitalize and reenergize one of the oldest commercial corridors in North Philadelphia, where Germantown Avenue intersects with Lehigh Avenue. Join us for a guided walking tour and artists’ talk and experience the powerful transformation of the Philly Painting project. Admission is FREE but registration is required. Call 215.685.0753. Tour meets at 2600 Germantown Avenue.
October 14: Southeast by Southeast
On Sunday October 13, from 1 - 3 p.m. celebrate South Philadelphia’s diverse and creative immigrant populations through the Mural Arts Program’s Southeast by Southeast project. Sample Nepali cuisine, enjoy a Nepali dance performance, watch a demonstration of Burmese weaving, and help paint a mural with Miriam Singer and Shira Walinsky. Afterward, take a guided walking tour of the neighborhood to visit a Cambodian Temple, Philadelphia’s only Nepali grocery store, and our new public art projects. Admission is FREE but registration is required. Call 215.685.0753. Tour meets at 1927 S. 7th Street.
October 15: Shake it up
Visit Shake Shack, sample the Center City Pretzel Concrete frozen custard dessert (a portion of the proceeds benefit the Mural Arts Program), and learn more about how to get involved with Mural Arts! Monday, October 15, 5 - 7 Pm. 2000 Sansom street. Call 215.685.0753 to reserve your space.
October 17: An Evening With Sonia Sanchez & Friends
Join us on October 17, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Courtyard for an evening with Sonia Sanchez. Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate leads a celebration of Peace is a Haiku Song, a mural project that engages the Philadelphia community and beyond in an exploration of the haiku as a vehicle for peace and urban transformation. Famous Philadelphians, singers, musicians, and special literary guests will perform for and with Sanchez in honor of her significant contributions to the cultural landscape and her commitment to unifying humanity through art.
October 18: Aqui y Alla Dedication
On Thursday October 18, at 5:30 p.m. join us to celebrate this transnational initiative, created and directed by local artist Michelle Angela Ortiz. The project explores the impact of immigration in the lives of Mexican immigrant youth in South Philadelphia in connection with youth in Chihuahua, Mexico. Aqui y Alla, which translates to “here and there,” refers to the youth in both Philadelphia and Mexico whose lives are impacted by immigration through their family dynamic, sense of identity, socioeconomic status, and violence against their communities. This project works simultaneously on both sides of the border to join the two cultural worlds through the vision of young people. 1515 s. 6th Street.
October 19: Richard Haas Mural Restoration
On Friday October 19 at 2 p.m. join us for the dedication of the Richard Haas mural at 23rd and Chestnut Streets. The Mural Arts Program and 2300 Chestnut Associates have embarked on an ambitious project to restore one of Philadelphia’s oldest modern murals, Chestnut Place by Richard Haas. The mural depicts William Penn painted to scale as a homage to the sculpture atop City Hall, set around a labyrinth of arched openings. The mural was originally designed and painted in 1983 by world-renowned muralist Richard Haas and recently restored by muralist Jon Laidacker.
October 20: Personal Melody & Midtown Villiage
On Saturday October 20, from 1 - 3 p.m. join twin brothers and graffiti artists HOW and NOSM to dedicate the new Midtown Village mural Personal Melody and hear about nearby murals Philly Chunk Pack by Kenny Sharf and All Very Amazing Fingers by avaf (with Christophe Hamaide-Pierson), all created in partnership with Goldman Properties. After the tour, enjoy a meet- and-greet with HOW and NOSM. Admission is FREE but registration is required. Call 215.685.0753. Tour meets at 13th and Sansom Streets.
October 21: Peace is Haiku Song
Residents, visitors, and citizens from around the world have contributed haiku to a mural project that honors the literary contributions, legacy, and life of Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate. Selected haiku are featured in mini-murals in unexpected locations around Philadelphia and serve as places to stop and reflect on the city and the theme of peace. The final mural by Josh Sarantitis and Parris Stancell honors Sanchez and reflects many of the individual haiku contributed to this project. This event is Sunday October 21, from 3 - 5 p.m. at 1425 Christian Street.
October 27: Roots Mural Tour & Celebration
Join us for a tour of select murals from the Albert M. Greenfield African American Iconic Images Collection, culminating at a celebration at the site of the future The Roots mural project. Artists, musicians, and citizens will enjoy an afternoon of painting, live music, giveaways, and fun with Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, in celebration of the new mural that honors The Roots, at the future home of this project. Both events at the World Communications Charter School, 512 S. Broad Street. Tour 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Celebration, 1 - 3 p.m. Tour is $30 per person; reservations required, 215.925.3633 or muralarts.org/tour.