Mar 19, 2024

Mural Arts To Take Technological Leap

by: Jenny Donnelly Johnson

Mural Arts Philadelphia is thrilled to announce a project that is part of the Digital Accelerator Program, funded by a two-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which is investing $45 million to support tech initiatives at arts organizations across the country. This project is set to transform Mural Arts’ digital landscape. Initiated in 2021, the program aims to fortify and propel arts organizations into post-pandemic prosperity by focusing on technological infrastructure enhancements.

At the heart of Mural Arts’ Digital Accelerator project are several key objectives designed to expand the organization’s impact both online and in the real world. The project aims to broaden the organization’s donor base and increase fundraising capabilities, allowing for more ambitious public art projects and community initiatives. By enhancing its digital presence, Mural Arts also seeks to deepen engagement with a broader audience, ensuring more people can access, experience, and participate in its transformative work.

“As we celebrate our 40th Anniversary and explore this year’s theme of Roots & Reimagination, we are at a pivotal moment in our journey to connect art and technology, and this generous support from Bloomberg Philanthropies is a catalyst for transformation,” said Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “This initiative will not only enhance our digital footprint but also allow us to reimagine how we engage communities, tell our stories, and ignite change through art. It’s about creating a bridge between the physical and digital worlds of art, ensuring that the power of public art, like oxygen, is accessible to everyone, everywhere.”

To achieve these ambitious goals, Mural Arts’ Digital Accelerator project will encompass a comprehensive scope of work that includes a new website focusing on accessibility, enhanced user experience, and aesthetics that reflect Mural Arts’ vibrant brand. Their historic records on the Public Art Archive and the national and global-facing work of the Mural Arts Institute will be better integrated into Mural Arts’ new website. A robust analytics strategy will support Mural Arts’ ability to measure success, understand user behavior, and continuously improve the digital experience for all visitors. Furthermore, additional staff will be hired to ensure the project’s success.

Developed with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Digital Accelerator for Arts and Culture, Mural Arts applied for the grant in June 2023 and spent three months (Oct-Dec 2023) working with a Digital Tech Advisor and attending information sessions in preparation to submit a project charter and proposed budget for review and approval.

“Amidst the pandemic’s challenges, we knew we needed to adapt our strategies and ensure that our storytelling was as compelling and effective as possible,” said Chad Eric Smith, Senior Director of Communications and Brand Management and Bloomberg Tech Fellow at Mural Arts Philadelphia. “The Digital Accelerator Program underpins our efforts to amplify audience engagement, boost fundraising, enhance revenue generation, strengthen the dynamism of our programming, and increase operational efficiency and effectiveness—aligning closely with our strategic communications goals.”

The program currently includes institutions in the U.S. and London. While the exact amount of the grant Mural Arts will receive is not publicly disclosed, Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested $43 million in the Digital Accelerator Program. The exact grant size for each organization selected to participate depends on factors such as organization size and demonstrated need.

Last updated: Apr 3, 2024

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