civic engagement | July 30, 2019

Jane Golden’s Mural Arts Transforms the Lives of Homeless Philadelphians

Jane Golden is the Executive Director at Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation’s largest public art program. Under her leadership, the organization’s latest project—a mural painted by people with economic insecurities—will be unveiled in SEPTA’s Suburban Station. 

The project will not only beautify the public concourse, but will also connect people who are struggling financially with employment, housing, and mental health services. And for three hours of daily work, each participant is paid fifty dollars. When discussing the goal of the project, which is implemented through the Color Me Back program, and funded by Mural Arts Philadelphia, Jane Golden said her hope was “to transform public space, but more importantly, to transform lives.”


So far, the program has been so popular that 60 people show up each day hoping to work on the mural. Through a daily lottery, ten people are selected to paint, and many of the participants have gone on to find employment since becoming involved. The SEPTA Suburan Station marks the first of many murals that are planned around the city under the same model.


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literature | July 29, 2019