By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Mural Arts program is presenting its new book at the Free Library of Philadelphia tomorrow.
The collection of essays chronicles the program’s 30 years of influence beyond the wall.
Titled, “Mural Arts @30,” the coffee table books lays out the history of Mural Arts Program from its humble beginnings as a six week anti-graffiti project in 1984, to its creation of over 3800 murals that touch every neighborhood in Philadelphia.
“It’s about individual and community transformation,” says Jane Golden, executive director of the Mural Arts Program and co-editor of the book.
Golden says this book is different from the other two books on Mural Arts because it focuses on how murals educate communities and build bridges of peace and healing.
The essays are written by professionals in a variety of areas, showing how muralism creates jobs, helps individuals stay out of the criminal justice system
and revitalizes communities.
“We see that art can be relevant to all the citizens of a city, that art can be used to try to move the needle on some of society’s more retractable problems,” she says, “and that is why I love this book.”
As for the future of Mural Arts, Golden says, the organization is just getting started.
“We’ve made it through four mayoral administrations and we’re stronger than ever, we’re going at a hundred miles and hour, the projects we are taking on are more complex than ever and we’re working with more people than we ever have before,” she says.