Art Ignites Change: 35 Years of Impact

Convergence © 2019 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Rebecca Rutstein, 27th and South Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Art Ignites Change

Thirty Five Years

We started with a spark and a mission to ignite change through the power of public art. Art that empowers communities, transforms spaces, and brings people together.

Art that ignites change in people, in neighborhoods, in our city, and beyond.

Join Us


In 1984, the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network was created by former mayor Wilson Goode.

Mayor Good appointed Tim Spencer as executive director of the Anti-Graffiti Network, and later hired artist Jane Golden to work on this program with Philadelphia youth. Golden worked with graffiti writers in order to redirect their energies into constructive public art projects. Mural Arts’ collective mural-making process proves to be a powerful tool for generating dialogue, building relationships, empowering communities, and sparking economic revitalization.

Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN) team painting over graffiti at Broad and Spring Garden streets.


Well-known portrait muralist Kent Twitchell creates Dr. J at 1219 Ridge Avenue, integrating superior artwork with a subject significant to the community. This is the first mural installed using the parachute cloth method.

View Artwork
Dr. J by Kent Twitchell. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.


Mural Arts Program is created under Mayor Ed Rendell.

Based on the popularity of mural making as part of the Anti Graffiti Network's programs, as well as the community's sense of attachment to the work, Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates was created as a private nonprofit 501(c)(3). Within the municipal government, Mural Arts is transferred from Anti-Graffiti to the Department of Recreation.

Learn about our mission


Amidst neighborhood tensions in Grays Ferry, Peace Wall is painted. The mural helps residents find common ground through art, becoming a symbol of hope and unity.

View Artwork


Meg Saligman paints Common Threads at Broad and Spring Garden Streets. Soaring eight stories above Broad Street, it remains one of the most iconic mural images.

View Artwork
Common Threads by Meg Saligman


Their Royal Highnesses Charles, the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, make a historic visit to Philadelphia and spend the afternoon with Mural Arts.

Photo by Jack Ramsdale


Mural Arts collaborates with internationally-renowned artist Steve Powers on A Love Letter For You, a series of more than 50 rooftop murals and street-level signs along the Market Street corridor in West Philadelphia.

View Artwork
A Love Letter For You. Photo by Adam Wallacavage.


Light Drift, a collaboration between Mural Arts and artist J. Meejin Yoon, placed a temporary interactive lighting installation along Schuylkill Banks between Market and Chestnut Streets from October 15-17, 2010.

View Artwork


Mural Arts completes a new mural project, Legendary, by Amber Arts & Design featuring Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, that honors GRAMMY Award winners, The Roots.

View artwork
Legendary by Amber Art & Design featuring Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Photo by Steve Weinik.


Mural Arts celebrates 30 years of participatory public artmaking of Mural Arts and the Anti-Graffiti Network with an exhibition, events, and a special edition book.

Beyond the Paint
Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


Open Source, the largest outdoor public art exhibition in Philadelphia, engages artists from across the globe, including JR, Shepard Fairey, SWOON, the Dufala Brothers, Sam Durant, and more.

Learn More About Open Source


In the fall of 2017, Monument Lab presented a guiding central question to more than 20 of the most dynamic contemporary artists working in Philadelphia and around the world: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?

Monument Lab


In a partnership with Mural Arts, artist Amy Sherald brought her work to Center City Philadelphia.

Untitled Amy Sherald Project


Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park, a unique festival that combined audio-visual art installations and diverse music performances, all shaped by their surroundings. Above and below the city streets, the installations celebrated and imagined the past, present, and future of Philadelphia’s Rail Park.

Site/Sound: Revealing the Rail Park
Moon Viewing Platform by Nadia Hironaka, Matthew Suib & Eugene Lew, October 5, 2019. Photo by Steve Weinik.


Mural Arts worked with the Department of Public Health to use art as a tool to transmit accurate and reliable public health messages in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, in response to the senseless murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020 and the subsequent on-going protests supporting Black Lives Matter (BLM), Mural Arts worked with artist Russell Craig in the creation of a series of projects that honor Black lives in an attempt to combat systemic racism and inequality.

View Russell Craig Crown Series
Crown: Medusa © 2021 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Russell Craig, Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Boulevard. Photo by Steve Weinik.


Declaration was conceived by Dwayne Reginald Betts and Titus Kaphar as part of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Reimagining Re-Entry Fellowship, as commentary on the antiquated and unjust Three-fifths Compromise included in the Declaration of Independence. The artists redacted this document to reveal the truths and contradictions of this rule as seen by current American citizens, many of whom are people of color.

View Artwork
Declaration © 2021 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Dwayne Betts & Titus Kaphar, 150 North Broad Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.