Graffiti art had become a major issue in Philadelphia until the government came up with ways and means to change the situation. It was through the search for a solution to this problem that Jane Golden and Tim Spencer merged in an anti-graffiti network program. The impacts of graffiti can be dire if the issue is not given the attention it deserves. The network has since developed a task force to fight the prevalence of graffiti in Philadelphia. The Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia is well-known as the largest public art program in the United States. This paper seeks to review the mural arts program’s goals under the theme of community.
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The main goal of the program is to reduce and avoid defacement caused by graffiti in the city. This has been largely achieved by bringing into account the perpetrators responsible for the spread of graffiti. The public campaigns and open-air awareness has also contributed to the ultimate achievement of the network’s goals. Compared to the past few years, today the population in Philadelphia city is more sensitive to their environment. The affected neighborhoods are assigned a graffiti task force to curb its spread and this has been bearing fruits. The network is not only interested in punishing the offenders rather it tries to find alternative ways to channel the energy of the young wall writers.
This network has been very active in rehabilitating all the defiled public buildings and organizing for communal cleanups. This has helped the city regain its face again after years of disfigurement as a result of the graffiti menace. In addition to its active role, the network has also provided a hotline to the public so that any incidences or complaints regarding graffiti can be reported immediately. This has reduced the number of buildings defiled by graffiti in the city hence giving the city a better face. The network’s agents are always on the ground waiting to respond to any complaint from the public. Unlike in the Socrates’ situation where his agenda was questionable, the mural program receives a lot of support even from the government.
Stopping graffiti is not the utmost solution to the threat of defacement in a city. Fighting this menace involves composing and providing alternatives to teenagers and young adults whose creativity is high. In Philadelphia, the mural arts network has teamed up with members of the public to create awareness as well as providing alternatives for the art-craving youths. The network supports workshops and seminars where young people can participate in decent and productive activities. The designs for the mural art projects are done by the young people who are allowed to showcase their talents in such forums. Socrates would speak his mind without minding what implications it would have and this is a trait that can be beneficial to young people today (Plato, 2012).
The former graffiti artists are currently involved in positive exercises that also advance their talents. The youths are offered equipment that enables them to create items such as T-shirts, logos, letterheads for companies, and newsletters. This is a positive shift from the abusive graffiti that marred the face of Philadelphia some years ago. In addition to turning to the positive use of their skills, the program is bringing together young people hence promoting peace and creating and instilling cultural values among the youth. This seems to embrace Wilde’s theme of forgiveness of past sins as well as empowering women in society.
The mural arts website is also a very resourceful portal and many have found help from the site. Young people in need of knowledge especially in the field of art have been adequately equipped with information on the website. A faculty of art education with a full curriculum guide is available online. The site provides a platform for artists to showcase their artwork by providing a space for that purpose. This means artists can upload and display their work on the website as well as buy or sell any of their work therein.
Ultimately, the murals are helping the city of Philadelphia to safeguard and preserve its history through art. Besides, the murals are adding value to the city placing it in a better place as a cultural destination in the United States. Going by the spirit and philosophy of the mural art program, it has promoted entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency through the principle of turning anything into something. Therefore, Philadelphia hopes to reach and spread the initiative to other neighboring cities and influence the world towards the same.
This paper has discussed the major goals laid down through the murals art program and how effective the program has been. In the paper, several ways that the program has exploited have been mentioned including providing alternatives for wall writers to pursue their talents. A keen observation has been done to identify the services offered by the mural art program through its website. This paper has come up with a conclusive view that the program has benefited the community and will continue to benefit even the generations to come. The program has successfully managed to turn the wall writing rebels into organized and responsible citizens.
Plato. (2012). The Trials of Socrates: Six Classic Texts. United States, US: Hackett Pub Co.
Wilde, O. (2001). An ideal husband. United States, US: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.