Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Community Impact Assessment—2003

Document Type

Research Report




This 2003 report is a first assessment of community impact of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program since its start in 1984 under the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network. The study, undertaken from 2000 to 2002, incorporated a variety of methods. SIAP developed a geographic database on the location of murals to assess whether their density was related to other characteristics of a neighborhood. The team also developed a detailed mural production database to examine the nature of community involvement in MAP's process. Finally, the team employed a “community leveraging" model, based on a method developed by Penn’s Program for the Study of Organized Religion and Social Work, to estimate voluntary and in-kind contributions to mural production.

The report concludes with a set of organizational and programmatic recommendations intended to maximize the potential of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program to mobilize resources and build connections among the city's neighborhoods, its young people, and its artists.


The Ford Foundation awarded a business-planning grant to the Mural Arts Program in 1999 that provided support for the impact evaluation, which MAP launched in late summer 2000. To undertake the study, SIAP relied on a working partnership with core MAP staff over a two-year period.

SIAP also collaborated with University of Pennsylvania colleagues on the MAP study. The Program for the Study of Organized Religion and Social Work at Penn School of Social Work inspired development of the MAP community leveraging model. Penn's Cartographic Modeling Lab provided data from its Philadelphia Neighborhood Information System and worked with SIAP on comparative impact analyses of community murals.



Date Posted: 13 May 2017