The Guild

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What is the Guild? 

Mural Arts introduced the Guild program in 2008 to support citizens reentering society and provide opportunities after release. People coming home typically face enormous barriers to integrating back into their communities; issues like housing insecurity, financial instability, mental health challenges, and neighborhood conflict are common. Our Guild participants (18+ justice-impacted individuals) develop essential job skills through this program. No artistic experience is necessary. 

We know that success comes from ensuring members show up daily, so the Guild is structured to provide a stable and consistent opportunity. Each participant commits to a 16-week program that employs them 20 hours weekly (Monday through Friday) at $16/hour.

In addition to working in the creative economy, participants develop career skills through daily workshops on topics like communication, teamwork, motivation, and discipline.

The program includes individualized support from social workers who connect participants to vital resources. Job support provides individualized coaching on resumes, job searching, and interview preparation.

Restorative Justice participants feel empowered by their accomplishments and emerge with a newfound sense of pride and enhanced job readiness.

The Guild is a paid job readiness program that gives justice-impacted young people the opportunity to develop marketable job skills and reconnect with their community. The Guild furthers individual development by incorporating important restorative justice concepts of healing, community, and individual restoration throughout the program. 

Guild carpentry workshop at the former Shooter Shop in Kensington/Harrowgate. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Guild carpentry workshop at the former Shooter Shop in Kensington/Harrowgate. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Since the programs’ inception in 2009, we have consistently maintained a one-year recidivism* rate below 15%.
    • *Recidivism: the rate at which someone who was formerly incarcerated is reimprisoned
    • Philadelphia’s one-year unified recidivism rate is 35%.
  • We serve over 100 participants per year, paying Guild participants more than 150% of the federal minimum wage.
  • 80% of Guild graduates are employed or enrolled in education programs or vocational training one year after graduation.
  • We pay our Guild participants a living wage, more than 150% above of the federal minimum wage.

How can I learn more? 

For more information on The Guild, please call 215-685-0756 or email