Nov 3, 2014

Finding Philadelphia on 13th Street

by: Rachel Luber Cevera

A Philadelphian since birth, I was raised to be an advocate for all that our city has to offer. As a child I spent many Saturdays at local community theaters and Sundays at the Art Museum, and traveling around the city was never just about getting from place to place. It was also an opportunity to learn and grow, one I have never taken for granted. My parents and grandparents taught me to always embrace the ever evolving melting pot that we are fortunate enough to live in.

I used to think that my upbringing was unique. However, as an adult, I realize that it was just quintessentially Philadelphian. Philly is a mosaic comprised of its people, a sprawling city, overflowing with culture and diversity. This could not have been more apparent at Mural Arts’ Philly DJ Mural Block Party a few weeks ago.

Leading up to the event, I was looking forward to hearing RJD2 perform. My husband and I are big fans of his music and it had been a while since we had seen him play. I loved hearing his music live, but what made the night unforgettable was dancing with RJD2 in the middle of crowded 13th Street full of my fellow Philadelphians. I cannot thank Mural Arts enough for throwing this party. It brought together Philadelphia’s artists, business owners, students, doctors and more, all uniting under the mission that art ignites change.

In Jane Golden’s opening speech she spoke about Mural Arts Philadelphia’s “commitment to ensuring that all young people have access to art.” She also reminded us, “Young people are creative, fearless and curious and the Philly DJ Mural Project taps into their unique voices, allowing the world to see – and hear – their whole selves.”

Jane’s words really stuck with me. I thought, “How lucky we are to have a leader in Philadelphia working tirelessly to uplift and elevate the creativity and voices of all Philadelphians.”

If you missed the Philly DJ Mural Block Party, don’t get too upset. The Philly DJ Mural, which will be painted by street artist and DJ Shepard Fairey, will be underway in the next few months. When that mural is dedicated, you’ll be able to join in on the festivities at another block party, so stay tuned for more information to come. I look forward to seeing you there to celebrate our city’s musicians, public art and of course, Philadelphia!

Photos by Steve Weinik and courtesy of Rachel Luber-Cevera

Rachel Luber-Cevera is co-chair of the Mural Arts Advisory Council and President of halfGenius, a Philadelphia based interactive marketing & design agency.

Last updated: Mar 21, 2016

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