Jul 1

Introducing New Mural Arts Board Members and New Board Chair

by: Ilse García Romero

The Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates Board of Directors is a group of business and community leaders, art enthusiasts, and artists who share our mission of beautifying, inspiring, and empowering Philadelphia’s communities using creativity and the transformative power of public art. Furthermore, our Board of Directors intentionally reflects the rich diversity of the City of Philadelphia.

Please join us in welcoming our newest Board members: Jennifer Borges, Danny Simmons, and Christina Wong. In addition to having new members, the Board has recently selected Julia Fleischner as the new Board Chair as of July 1, 2022. For a complete list of our Board of Directors, click here.

Julia Fleischner

Julia Fleischner is a philanthropist and civic leader. She is a member of the Public Education and Engagement Committee at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Advisory Board at MANNA and serves as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she is a Trustee. Julia has served on the Parent’s Association Board at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, and is involved in fundraising and development efforts for local nonprofits and schools, such as Laurel House, The Westtown School, The Martha’s Vineyard Museum and The West Tisbury Library in Massachusetts.  

Julia’s initial interest in Mural Arts Philadelphia stemmed from a passion for public art, which she and her husband both share, and a sense of becoming connected with an organization with deep ties to the city of Philadelphia. The programs that Mural Arts established and has successfully run were an impetus for her to get involved. She began volunteering with the Restorative Justice program before becoming a board member in 2018. She served as the Secretary of the Board in 2021 and was recently elected Board Chair starting July 1, 2022.

Julia is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, and lives in Haverford with her husband, David, and their two daughters, Margaret and Caroline. She has a background in Development in the nonprofit sector and has been volunteering since she was in her early teens.  

Jennifer Porges

Jennifer L. Porges has been active in the non-profit sector since 1994. Ms. Porges began her career as an associate at Crowell & Moring, a large law firm based in Washington, DC. She relocated to Hong Kong in 1994 to work with Asia Monitor Resource Center, where she developed the quarterly Asian Labour Update, presented at regional and international meetings on labor-related issues in Asia, working conditions in China, corporate social responsibility, and the social clause. Ms. Porges continued her non-profit work when she moved to London, UK (1998) and Switzerland (2005), serving as a representative for, and consultant to, several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Women Working Worldwide and the Ethical Trading Initiative, where she consulted with NGO’s and multinational corporations on best practices, corporate social responsibility, and effectively implementing corporate codes of conduct. Since returning to the Philadelphia area, Ms. Porges worked with The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA, where she supported the school’s development efforts and assisted with Special Projects. Ms. Porges is currently the Secretary of the Central Volunteer Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra and a member of the PA Leadership team for Stanford University’s Outreach Volunteer Alumni Link. She also previously served as a member of the National Board of Advisors for The Baldwin School and volunteered for the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children and Good Shepard Mediation. Ms. Porges received her Master’s in International Organizations from the University of Zurich, her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and her Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Danny Simmons

Danny Simmons is a published author, poet, painter, and philanthropist. He is a leader in the art world with his philanthropic ventures, artistic talents, and creative mind and drive. He played an instrumental role in conceiving and co-producing the hit HBO show Def Poetry Jam and won a Tony Award for the Broadway version of the show.

Simmons is co-founder, along with his siblings, Russell and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and founder of Rush Arts Philadelphia and RAP Gallery II, a new solo exhibition/ arts education gallery that opened in 2019. He is a former board member of the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Conference of Artists, and the former Chairman of the NYS Council on the Arts.

Today, his works appear in Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank, Deutsche Bank, Schomburg Center for Black Culture, The Smithsonian, United Nations, United States State Department Collection, David Driskell Collection, Petrucci Family Foundation, PAFA Collection, and, on an international scope has shown work in France, Amsterdam, and Ghana. In 2019, he was appointed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s African American Collections Committee.

Danny holds a Bachelor’s degree in social work from New York University, a Masters’s in public finance from Long Island University, and is the recipient of an honorary Ph.D. from Long Island University. He continues to thrive at his ‘home gallery’ in Philadelphia, PA.

Christina Wong

Christina Wong is Director and Producer of Campus Content at Comcast Corporation HeadQuarters.  In her role, Christina led the launch of The Universal Sphere — from Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Animation, Universal Parks and Resorts, and Comcast Labs. This cinematic experience explores the power of ideas. This free, accessible attraction is in the heart of Philadelphia and welcomes more than 1,000 guests daily. She also manages, acquires, and develops new content for The Comcast Experience, one of the largest indoor LED video walls in the world. Since its installation in 2008, this super high-resolution screen has become one of the top tourist attractions in Philadelphia, as well as a nationally recognized public art installation.

Prior to joining Comcast, Christina served as the Vice President at ESM Productions, a Roc Nation company. While at ESM Productions, Christina served as the Talent Operations Manager for the World Meeting of Families Festival of Families and Papal Mass during Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States – the largest National Special Security Event (NSSE) in United States history.

An experienced communications, events, and production planning professional, Christina serves on numerous boards, including Thomas Jefferson University’s Academic Board of Trustees, the mayoral-appointed Philadelphia Works board and Philadelphia Authority of Industrial Development board, and Philly Set Go, Philadelphia’s first millennial political action committee. In 2016, Christina co-chaired the Volunteer Outreach Committee for the Democratic National Convention Host Committee.

Christina lives in Philadelphia with her husband. She is a graduate of Philadelphia University and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and civic engagement.

Last updated: Jul 30, 2022

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Andrew Munter says

Would like to speak to someone in authority about the opportunity to recondition a mural that was painted by Michael Webb & Jane Golden over 35 years ago @ 22nd & Walnut. This mural was commission by Sunoco before the Mural Arts Program became a fixture in Philadelphia. It deserves to be recognized as a premier work of art, conserved and reconditioned before it is lost to time. As I was the Sunoco project manager at the time, I have the renderings and the history that was the Genesis for this initiative. Please contact me to set up a meeting to discuss a path forward. Thank you for your consideration of my request. Regards, Andy Munter

Carlene says

Good Evening,
My name is Carlene Neal, I reside in Germantown, across the street from the Mastery School, Pickett Campus. Over a year ago, I submitted a proposal for a mural on a property that I own. I was encouraged when I received a positive response. I was told it was a great idea. I sent photos, took measurements. I believe someone may have driven through the area to look at the wall. Since that time, no one has gotten back to me. I proposed that a mural project be done in that location to bring neighbors and the Mastery School Students together as the beginning of a long-term relationship to foster mutual respect between students of color and community members. We have alot to offer the youth and the youth can offer homeowners an opportunity to mentor students from an intergenerational and interracial lens. Many of my neighbors are retired teachers and professionals.
With the teacher shortage, perhaps we can create a core group of volunteers to assist the school administration in creative ways as well. The mural would be one such opportunity and the beginning of a long-term and healthy relationship and a template for positive change.
Since 2019, the wall on Rittenhouse Wayne Avenue has been vandalized with grafitti. There are four property owners in the 5900 block of Wayne Avenue that own garages at 5902 Wayne Avenue- rear. We are in agreement that we would like to have a mural. We would like an image of a positve role model that the youth respect such as a sports figure. We think it would decrease the likelihood of ongoing vandalism.
I can be reached by cell 215-439-1156 or email. carleneneal@comcast.net.
We would appreciate receiving a response from you.
Carlene Neal
5902 Wayne Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144

PS. I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Afro-American Art Museum on July 28th, when Mr. Danny Simmons spoke. I was motivated to try again and not give up on this request. It would mean so much to me and my neighbors.