This project represents a first attempt to assess the impact of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP)—initiated in 1984 under the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network--on the city's neighborhoods. The need for a community impact assessment grew out of the changing character of the Mural Arts Program since its move in 1996 from the Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. With support by the Ford Foundation through a business planning grant, MAP launched the evaluation in the summer of 2000.
SIAP's report concludes that as a public art program operating within a City agency, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has unique potential to benefit Philadelphia neighborhoods and residents. MAP has evolved into an established public program with a nonprofit arm and substantial private support. The program is in a strong position to serve a range of constituencies—neighborhoods, young people, and artists—and to connect these often isolated and vulnerable groups. Thus MAP holds a unique opportunity as a bridging institution—to mobilize networks and to connect grassroots and community organizations with regional resources, government agencies, and private grant-makers. Therein lies MAP's greatest potential to impact Philadelphia communities.
Reports from 2003
An Assessment of Community Impact of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program, Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert