PHILADELPHIA HAS BILLED itself as the “mural capital of the world.” This October, the city is celebrating its murals: “31 Days, 31 Ways: Art Ignites Change.” New murals will be dedicated throughout the month, and every Saturday in October, there will be free tours.
The Mural Arts Program started in 1984 as a way to combat graffiti. Jane Golden, a local muralist, helped bring in local artists to create the first pieces. From its start, the program has helped to commission over 3,500 works of art around the city, and it now sponsors art activities for those in local prisons as well as educational programs for at-risk youth. Golden has described the success behind the initiative with her mantra: “Art Saves Lives.”
Wander and find them on your own, or you can take a guided tour. There’s also the Mural Mile, a self-guided walking tour that features 17 murals along a 3 mile walking route.