Jun 24, 2016 | 4:30pm–6:30pm EDT Past Event

yOUR story: history, resilience, and home

yOUR story: history, resilience, and home is a one-week, socially engaged public art pilot project that positions public discourse in sites of historical resilience in order to position youth as experts, contextualize art and conversation within public space and communities, and reclaim stories of the turbulent struggle for equality.

yOUR story was developed collaboratively by lead artists Jared Wood and Michael O’Bryan and project manager Shari Hersh.

This month, Mural Arts will stage a week-long project at the Village for Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia, a site of historical resilience for the African American community. A group of youth collaborating with artists Jared Wood and Michael O’Bryan will participate in an intensive, week-long public dialogue and public art process. Through a series of workshops, games, and dialogues, they will plan and produce a public event at the Village.

Staging the dialogue at a site of historical resilience within Philadelphia, we aim to contextualize the conversation in the “history of resilience” both in the use of public space and in the attributes of individuals and communities. This pilot tests a model for a larger project aiming to reknit social fabric among disparate stakeholders and develop communal, healing narratives in relation to youth housing insecurity and homelessness.


In Philadelphia, over 5,000 young people are currently experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. These youth are difficult to serve, impossible to count, and generally marginalized and silenced. And though they tend to be incredibly resilient, the stories which surface about them are often stories of hardship, hopelessness, and tragedy.

Over the last four years, an interdisciplinary collaboration of youth, artists, advocates, researchers, and journalists have staged two large-scale, multifaceted projects addressing the invisibility of youth experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness in Philadelphia.

journey2home, Mural Arts’ most recent project around these themes, positioned youth as experts in voicing, navigating, and transcending the issue of homelessness and housing insecurity. journey2home prioritized dialogue in which youth participants positioned themselves as experts on the issue of housing insecurity through art, discourse, storytelling, and interpersonal exchange at monthly storefront events open to the public.


City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services