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Beautifying the Streets and Educating Youth with Street Art

Wouldn’t you like to see more public art on the walls? Well the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia does just that. The program was established in 1984—when the crack epidemic was at full peak—as a way to transform troubled youth into productive young adults by introducing them to art making techniques in street art. These deviant youths were often caught defacing public property, but then lawfully punished by transforming the vandalized property into spectacular street art murals. Local communities would donate materials and supplies, and volunteers would teach art techniques to the youth as they would work on large scale public art projects. As a result, Philadelphia observed a significant decrease in gang related crime; while at the same time beautifying public space and educating youth with art. The Mural Arts Program still exists today. However, many other communities around the world—and in the United States—could benefit from such programs. What do you think? See more info at

“The mural, Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia, depicts Ibrahim, a Philadelphia resident who immigrated to Philadelphia from Pakistan” –




  1. Emily Krause wrote:

    Mason needs a mural on campus! It would make it a happier place to be and attract members of the local community.

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  2. Colleen Mullins wrote:

    This is really interesting! I like seeing how troubled youths creating art that can be enjoyed rather than just defacing property with gang signs. These kinds of programs should definitely be implemented in other areas with high amounts of gang related crimes.

    Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink