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.
In order to honor its commitments to the Philadelphia neighborhoods that host its murals—over 3,600 created in 28 years—Mural Arts will devise a plan for a Restoration and Stewardship Program. The murals, which are meant to uplift communities and signal forward momentum, have a lifespan of about 15 years before they begin to peel and fade. Mural Arts currently restores 10 murals per year with limited resources, usually in reaction to wear and tear that has already occurred. Catherine Myers, a mural conversation expert formerly with the Getty Conservation Institute, will work with Mural Arts staff to enhance organizational decision-making with regards to restoration, decommissioning, or replacing of aging works. The organization also hopes to engage in conversation with people who live near mural sites, to discuss the value of the works and their relationships to community identity. Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded from 2009 through 2013.