Mar 1, 2023

Sponsor Spotlight: SEPTA Supports Porch Light

by: Jenny Donnelly Johnson

SEPTA has generously supported the Mural Arts Color Me Back initiative. Why is it important to SEPTA to invest in this kind of community outreach?

SEPTA is committed to providing the community with opportunities to thrive and connect, whether it is through safe, reliable, effective transit options or through valuable partnerships that offer creative ways to support and connect with one another. SEPTA is privileged to be able to support the Color Me Back initiative that offers both tools to assist those struggling with homelessness, addiction and other health crisis and also provides a way for our ridership to engage with these issues through art.

Like any program that authentically reaches out to the community and looks to uplift those who have been left behind, we are the beneficiaries of all this program teaches us through the participants, their stories and beautiful murals.

What is the impact of Color Me Back on beautifying SEPTA’S public spaces? How does it increase ridership and enhance riders’ experiences?

The murals created through the program enhance our spaces, creating a welcoming environment that we hope also raises awareness and interest in how they were created. They welcome guests as they explore our city and learn about all that Philadelphia offers and represents. The murals also present an intersection of our riders and the community through which they travel, reminding riders that they are in a living, breathing city with art, culture, and a diverse population whose stories are all around them.

Mural Arts believes that “Art Ignites Change.” What kind of positive social change would SEPTA like to see occur as a result of its partnership with Mural Arts?

While there are other successful day-work programs in the City, we are so proud of the added element of The Color Me Back day-work initiative that connects workers with an array of services they may not have been aware of or felt comfortable seeking out in other circumstances. We’ve heard from participants that the work itself—the art—has had a healing effect, making space to think and be peaceful away from their daily struggles. It also has been exciting to hear success stories of participants in the program finding permanent employment. We would love to see the program continue to grow as it beautifies our City, gives voice to a marginalized population and acts as a bridge for participants to resources they might need to better their health and wellness.

Last updated: Mar 1, 2023

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