muraLAB

Deepen your connection to the arts with muraLAB

Public art in Philadelphia and beyond. 

Alongside celebratory mural dedications and lively paint days, Mural Arts offers think-tank-style public programming on topics connected to socially engaged art. Artists, curators, activists, scholars, and leaders in many interconnected fields, from Philadelphia and beyond, speak on the relationship between public art and urban change.

muraLAB programming infuses our work with urgency, incorporating fresh perspectives and broader contexts. Every conversation is an opportunity for evaluation and reflection. We see muraLAB as an evolutionary space where we can expand our artistic practice and provide Philadelphia’s arts community with lively, thoughtful conversation.

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muraLAB: Art in Action 

As COVID-19 sets into sharp relief the inequalities in our communities, muraLAB: Art in Action will examine how socially-engaged art can help us develop better strategies for dealing with broad systemic issues. muraLAB discussions will be hosted on Zoom and streamed live on the Mural Arts Facebook page. Check our events page for upcoming programming.

  • June 3: Art in Action [REGISTER]
    Mural Arts is focused on helping our partners and our communities navigate this challenging time while keeping artists employed and active. We seek to uplift and celebrate the creative voice of everyone we work with by connecting public art with public health. How are artists responding to pandemic in their  artistic work, and how is the COVID-19 pandemic reshaping their artistic practices?

    • Moderator: Conrad Benner, Streets Dept
    • Mark Strandquist, Artist
    • Dora Cuenca, Artist
    • Sean 9 Lugo, Artist
    • Symone Salib, Artist

May 27: Taking Care of Ourselves & Community 

Mural Arts works to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals as well as communities, especially those who are experiencing food insecurity, substance use, and mental health issues. How are we applying the lessons we’ve learned and the approaches we’ve developed to the new challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to our personal health?

    • Moderator: Nadia Malik, Mural Arts Philadelphia Porch Light Program 
    • César Mantilla – Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
    • Eduardo Collazo – Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
    • Clayton Ruley – Prevention Point 
    • SWOON – Artist

May 20: Connecting When We Can't Gather 

The public health measures instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have struck at the very heart of our ability to come together as friends, neighbors and communities. How is this reshaping the strategies and tactics that Mural Arts has been using to promote connectivity and strengthen resilience, and what has this been teaching us about the very nature of community?

  • Moderator: Magda Martinez, Mural Arts Philadelphia
  • Roberto Bedoya, City of Oakland 
  • Pamela Bridgeforth, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
  • Shira Walinsky, Artist and Teacher

May 13: Rapid Response  

The coronavirus pandemic has forced our city and the rest of the world into crisis mode. In the six weeks since Philadelphia began to enforce quarantine, Mural Arts has worked to innovate quickly at the intersection of art and public health. How can creative practice help us protect each other? How can city agencies collaborate with the arts to foster safe spaces and respond to the pandemic? The goal of this panel is to share learnings to date and discuss new paths forward.

  • Moderator: Jane Golden, Mural Arts Philadelphia
  • Mica Root, Department of Public Health 
  • Nile Livingston, Artist

May 6: Morality of the Moment  

Artists and partners of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Reimagining Reentry fellowship program examine the problems posed by mass incarceration on both a personal and a systemic level, illuminating the human cost and potential solutions. With the COVID-19 crisis, those problems are more urgent than ever, as large numbers of people are released from incarceration into communities struggling with the crisis, and people remaining in incarceration face deadly health risks.

Read more on the blog.

  • Moderator: Greg Corbin, Mural Arts Philadelphia Restorative Justice Program
  • Mary Baxter, Mural Arts Reimagining Re-entry Fellow 
  • James Hough, Philadelphia District Attorney Artist in Residence
  • Jasmine Heiss, Vera Institute of Justice
  • Nicole Fleetwood, Rutgers University

Thanks to Our Sponsors 

The Mural Arts Institute is supported by The JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

We strongly encourage you to opt-in to receiving emergency messages regarding any potential City closures by visiting the City’s site dedicated to the COVID-19 outbreak, phila.gov/covid-19 and opting into text messages by texting COVIDPHL to 888-777.