The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is one of the nation’s largest public arts initiatives of its kind. Our mission is to engage in art education and community public art collaborations, and to increase public access to art. Since the Mural Arts Program began, we have produced over 2,800 murals and educated over 20,000 underserved youth in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.

The Mural Arts Program began in 1984 as a component of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, an effort to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city. The Anti-Graffiti Network hired muralist Jane Golden to reach out to graffiti writers to redirect their energies from destructive graffiti writing to constructive mural painting. Mural-making provided a support structure for these young men and women to develop their artistic skills, empowering them to take an active role in beautifying their communities. In 1996, the City of Philadelphia announced that the Anti-Graffiti Network would be reorganized into the Mural Arts Program with Golden as the director. At the same time, Golden established a nonprofit organization, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates, to raise funds and provide other support to the nationally-recognized program. Today’s Mural Arts Program is an innovative and successful public/private partnership that encompasses both the city agency and the nonprofit.

Benefit for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. The Mural Arts Program works with more than 100 communities each year to create murals that reflect the culture of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Mural projects often include stabilization of abandoned lots and revitalization of open spaces. Our community partners include block captains, neighborhood associations, public schools, community development corporations, local nonprofits, and city agencies. We strive to coordinate mural projects with existing strategies for community development, thereby leveraging grassroots social capital to build positive momentum and stronger results. Young Advocates for Mural Arts will be hosting this benefit that will feature a number of local musicians.

Artists Playing

In spring of 2005, a surge of creative energy sparked the atmosphere at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, as students across campus came together to express themselves in fresh and innovative ways. Among them, three musicians were inspired to come together and pool their collective talents and ideas. This was the inception of Sela, with David Martin (MC and bass), Josh Long (guitar), and Margel Overton (vocals and keyboard). A creative outfit from the beginning, they came away from these early sessions with the songs “Wanna Know Your Name” and “Can I Get Next To You.” After finding a part time drummer, they began to give life to their songs on stage. While continuing to hone their skills, Sela added Josh’s brother Tim Long to take over bass, allowing David to focus on rapping, their long time friend and emcee MJ Harris, and JP Dudas came on board as full time drummer. With its current, solid lineup, Sela has performed with artists such as Khari Ferrari, Kuf Knots, Pigeon John, DJ Phish, Dice Raw, Nikki Jean, and Ab-Liva. Trained musicians, the members of Sela incorporate their technical knowledge with their diverse sonic influences (N.E.R.D., The Roots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gym Class Heroes, Gorillaz) producing an explosive sound that consistently delivers electrically charged live performances. Audience hits include “Tastykakes,” “Pump Your Fist,” and “Out There,” which showcase the band’s hypnotic infusion of rock, jazz, dance and hip hop. Weaving together charismatic rapping, aggressive beats, vigorous riffs, and high powered vocals, Sela can’t help but ignite each audience in aural euphoria.
Pedal to the Side

Anna got a guitar, pursued a solo career and released her first album (Elixir for the Human Heart) and Bea attended art school, while Cas moved out and continued writing and singing with other local artists. The three regrouped in 2005 and thus the story goes. Here they are today, featured in Relix’s On The Verge Section: The girls have played all different types of venues ranging from your local Philly dive to Canada’s NXNE to CMJ music festival in New York City.
Sisters3 Live on NBC

Joe Duffy and Whatevers Clever
The Whatevers Clever recording project has evolved into a live experience with real live people in a real live band. The band members include Joe Duffey, Aria Mascaro, Brendan Duffey, Drew Saracco, and Dan Gallagher. The Whatevers Clever album consists of my basement recordings of old songs and new. The instruments include acoustic guitar, mandolin, drums and other percussion, harmonica, jaw harp, accordion, various keyboard sounds such as the baselines, and anything else lying around.
Joe Duffy and Whatevers Clever
Greatly Divided

To learn more about the event, and to pick up tickets, check out Johnny Brenda’s listing.

Home Community Johnny Brenda’s to Host a Benefit for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program...