By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Selected artists are helping to revitalize a West Philadelphia neighborhood through a novel residency program.

The new initiative through the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, called the “Neighborhood Time Exchange,” offers local artists free space in a repurposed building at 4017 Lancaster Avenue, and a stipend to practice their craft.

“It is based on the theory that artists can revitalize a corridor,” says Mural Arts executive director Jane Golden (at far right in photo).  “They are unlike anyone else when it to comes to building a life and spirit in a community.”

But, Golden notes, it’s not just a giveaway:

“In exchange — that’s why it’s (called) ‘Neighborhood Time Exchange’ — they are to do work that has a social purpose.”

Golden says artists can help the community through their individual areas of expertise.

“So, somebody needs a series windows fixed up along a certain block, (or) a vacant lot needs a community garden,” she says by way of example.  “Sometimes people want traditional murals, or a school wants photographs of kids at that site.”