Mar 26, 2015

Mural Arts Tours Revamped for 2015, a Q&A with Ellen Soloff

by: RJ Rushmore

This year our mural tours are undergoing a major upgrade. We have a new office, new routes, and new ways to see murals.

In January, the Mural Arts tours offices moved to a brand new location at the centrally located Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) on Broad Street, and we’ve already made our mark on the neighborhood, thanks to a mural installation on our windows by PAFA alum Ben Volta.

Beginning on April 11 and continuing through November, the 2015 mural tour season will offer art lovers, families, and tourists an opportunity to experience the world’s largest outdoor art gallery, showcasing work that exemplifies Mural Arts’ mission: art ignites change. A variety of tours, led by professionally trained guides, provide an insider’s view of Mural Arts’ public art contributions to Philadelphia, as well as the artistic processes and colorful community histories that embody each finished mural.

We’re kicking off the 2015 mural tours season with a scavenger hunt followed by a reception on Saturday, April 11 (rain date Sunday, April 12) at our new offices at PAFA.

We spoke with Ellen Soloff, our Director of Tours & Merchandise, about what’s new with mural tours.

The new tours season is launching on April 11. How is everything shaping up with this new season and a new partnership?

We are really looking forward to launching an exciting 2015 tour season from our new, beautiful location at PAFA. Two great art institutions teaming up!

How have Mural Arts’ tours routes been updated for 2015?

Due to popular demand, the Mural Masterpieces trolley tour has been divided into two routes: Masterpieces East and Masterpieces West. Visitors can buy a combination ticket for the two tours for a discounted price. In addition, Second Sunday of the Month Specialty Tour has been added, which will feature unique mural tour experiences.

Have you tried out the Segway tours yourself yet?

I haven’t done it yet but I’m looking forward to trying it. It’s a fun and new way to experience murals in the Northern Liberties section of the city.

How can tour attendees benefit from our new partnership with PAFA?

All of our tour guests will receive a coupon good for five dollars off on admission to the museum. Conversely, all PAFA members will receive a five-dollar discount on all mural tours.

What will people be doing on the scavenger hunt?

The scavenger hunt can be accessed with a downloadable app that encompasses photo tasks, Q&As, and GPS check-ins, all highlighting various mural along the Mural Mile North & South Walking Tour routes in Center City.

Can you share any clues for the scavenger hunt?

I don’t want to give anything away too soon, but come to the free opening event on April 11 when the scavenger hunt will be officially launched. Private groups can also book their own hunts—a great team-building exercise or unique and interactive social activity.

What’s your favorite thing to get at Tableau?

The ahi tuna salad.


Photo: Micro to Macro © 2014 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Philadelphia / Ben Volta. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Last updated: Mar 21, 2016

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