Mural Arts Philadelphia (formerly Philadelphia Mural Arts Program) is the largest public art program in the US. Mural Arts engages communities in 50–100 public art projects each year and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative. Its core program areas—including art education, community murals, and environmental justice—yield unique, project-based learning opportunities for thousands of youth and adults.
This past year, as an outgrowth of a new, Center-funded curator-in-residence program, Mural Arts began working with contemporary art curators for the first time in its history. As part of the Restored Spaces initiative, Boston-based guest curator Lucia Sanroman has invited Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra), an innovative European urban design and performance group, to work with Mural Arts on a community-driven project. CohStra members will take up residence in Philadelphia and, following a period of research and "data-mapping" of various local neighborhoods, will stage "cultural interventions" such as pop-up markets or staged public performances. These interventions will be intended to galvanize and empower community members to work collaboratively with Mural Arts staff on future community art projects. Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge will conclude with a daylong symposium and publication.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*