WRC held its second Creative Chat on September 29 at the Chris White Gallery that featured special guest Jane Golden, Executive Director, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP). Attendees learned about how MAP made its 30-year journey that has resulted in 3,600 murals throughout the nation. Golden started from transforming hesitant Philadelphia graffiti gang members into mural artists and worked her way up to directing a successful program that now serves as an international model.
Golden provided several mural project examples and explained how the powerful process affected both communities and individuals. “We saw art do something that we never thought was possible. The mural became a beacon and a vocal point. We saw art as a catalyst to social change. We started to deliver art as a city service,” said Golden.
She discussed additional programs MAP provides such as art education for high-impact residencies that attracts 1,500 children annually. MAP also offers specific programs to middle school and high school aged students. 85% of children enrolled in these art education programs move on to a higher education. Golden said, “Offer young people any opportunity possible. Raise the bar on what we offer them.” She ended her presentation with an inspiring quote: “Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, and then watching the evidence change.”
“Jane Golden is amazing! Her story of the evolution of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and the outstanding work that the MAP team does every day in Philadelphia, inspires audiences to think big about how real social change can occur through the engagement of communities through the arts,” said WRC’s Managing Director, Carrie Gray.
Learn more about WRC’s Creative Chat:
Join us six times a year for an informal, interactive series that updates our community about the vision plan for Wilmington’s Creative District. Each event starts with a networking opportunity followed by a presentation by an expert in the creative or maker field. Creative Chats are free and open to the public.