Jun 16, 2017

Moving Through the City with 47 Stories and 14 Movements

by: Laura Kochman

Americans for the Arts is a nonprofit after our own hearts: the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, AFTA has been around for 55 years and remains dedicated to serving local communities. We’re excited to tell you that this year, not one but two Mural Arts projects have been selected as outstanding public arts projects through AFTA’s Public Art Network Year in Review program. Out of 325 entries from all 50 states, a jury selected 47 Stories and 14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words, both of which explored movement and connection across Philadelphia.

47 Stories © 2016 Mural Arts Philadelphia / Laura Deutch and Shira Walinsky. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Cities are dynamic landscapes, crisscrossed by paths of daily transit as people move from one neighborhood to another. For 47 Stories, artists Shira Walinsky and Laura Deutch reimagined the 47 bus route, which connects North and South Philadelphia—the 47 as an arena for voices, stories, and experiences, a space for reflection on the act of “migrating together.” Artist Mat Tomezsko’s 14 Movements used Broad Street as a mile-long canvas, unfolding a sonata of color across 14 blocks of the city’s busiest corridor. In collaboration with Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher, 14 Movements spoke to the desire to be seen, heard, and represented, intentionally connecting South Philadelphia to City Hall during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words © 2016 Mural Arts Philadelphia / Mat Tomezsko. Photo by Steve Weinik.

While 47 Stories listened carefully to individual experience, 14 Movements drew attention to a broad range of civic concern. 47 Stories created interactions within a common mode of transportation, while 14 Movements drew our focus to the surface of the road itself. Both projects opened up conversation about transit and migration, Philadelphia’s landscape from north to south and back again, and the value in paying attention as we move through our days.

read the full list of projects

47 Stories was sponsored by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), the 25th Century Foundation, the Hummingbird Foundation, PIDC, and the Samuel S. Fels Fund. 14 Movements was sponsored by the Knight Foundation.

Last updated: Jun 16, 2017

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