The Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) is the nation's first private, nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. Founded in 1872, the Association commissions, preserves, promotes, and interprets a significant collection of public art in Philadelphia. With Center support, the Association for Public Art (aPA) launched Museum Without Walls™ in 2009, a program of audio "labels" for more than 60 works in the collection, accessible by cell phone. The Center also supported aPA's follow-up efforts to engage audiences in online dialogues utilizing social media and smart phone technologies, and to develop strategies responding to advances in digital media. In 2015, aPA received Center support to commission internationally recognized artist Cai Guo-Qiang to create Fireflies, an interactive public artwork of 27 luminous, kinetic sculptures inspired by Chinese pedicycles.
The Association for Public Art developed an interactive audio interpretation of public sculptures in Philadelphia, informed by experts in documentary studies and folklore. These audio "labels" were designed to depart from traditional narratives and formats to tell the social history and diverse stories behind the public artworks in the environment and context of Philadelphia's streets. During its initial launch, Museum Without Walls: AUDIO provided audio tours for 35 public artworks, accessible by cell phone or podcast. Since its inception, the program has grown to include more than 150 voices at over 70 sites throughout Fairmount Park and Center City Philadelphia.