Sep 29, 2014

Joe Goldblum reflects on Mural Arts Philadelphia

by: Joe Goldblum

At the September meeting of the Mural Arts Advocates and after six years as Board Chair, I passed the gavel to my able successor, David Pudlin. While good nonprofit governance requires an orderly succession plan and new leaders with new ideas, I exit reluctantly because I have loved being Chair of this incredible organization. Yes, it was hard work – early morning meetings; major crises and creative solutions; financial roadblocks; and always balancing the artistic big-vision agenda with the pragmatic and obtainable. However, what could possibly be more rewarding than working with the indefatigable and ultra-creative Jane Golden and a team that wakes up every day thinking about how to make a positive and sustainable difference to the City of Philadelphia? What could be more satisfying than leading a board of individuals with deep and varied skillsets who synergistically combine to guide and support Mural Arts Philadelphia? I am truly humbled and thankful to have had this opportunity.

I am frequently asked what are the achievements of the organization in the past six years of which I am proudest. It would be easy to point to some of the more monumental and groundbreaking projects like Philly Painting in Germantown – a spectacular mural covering over 60 buildings and two city blocks – but I like to highlight two organizational milestones:

First, after an intensive strategic planning process in 2013, we were able to align our mission and message. The mission was never about the number of murals, no matter how impressive that number became – it was always about using the power of art to transform communities and individuals. The message finally evolved to articulate the mission. “Art Ignites Change,” the core of our new mission statement and the theme of this year’s Mural Arts Month, captures the power of art to start difficult conversations, unite individuals and communities, heal, and empower.

Second, Mural Arts Philadelphia efficiently and effectively uses funds donated and granted to it. As a donor myself, it is very important to me that funds find their way to the intended programs and to the artists, students and underserved communities we work in without being unduly burdened with excessive overhead. Today, Mural Arts is a lean and effective organization that can manage the toughest and most complex projects while simultaneously meeting the highest auditing standards. I personally do not know of another organization that so effectively leverages donors’ money to make a true difference in Philadelphia. That is something of which we can all be proud.

I look forward with great anticipation to being a part of the next chapter, and wish David Pudlin great success.

Joe Goldblum
Mural Arts Advocates Board Member

Photo by Paul Loftland

Last updated: Mar 21, 2016

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