Philly, a city of murals

Friday, October 23, 2015

By Shawna Daly

At the end of his week-long visit, Pope Francis left his mark on the city of Philadelphia.

At the intersection of 11th and Thompson, the Saint Malachy school will be adorned with triptych mural masterpiece, “The Sacred Now: Faith and Family in the 21st Century,” signed and blessed by the pope.

In the 1970’s, the Philadelphia art museum chose painting murals as the creative solution to dissolve vandalism and grafitti.

To expand their efforts, the Mural Arts Program was established to support and encourage young artists.

The Communications Network spoke to Jane Golden, the Executive Director of MAP. “We are a city that has embraced public art,” Golden said. “We are city of neighborhoods; scrappy and sophisticated, bold and visionary.”

MAP’s allegiance with World Meetings of Families united over 2700

Philadelphians, and the end result is a historical fixture superseding the previous Guinness Book record of 2,263 people involved in The Simpsons tribute at San Diego Comic-Con in July of last year.

Comprising 153 individual panels, “The Sacred Now” portrays the pope’s dream of finding greater freedom through cooperation.

Artistic team efforts like the construction of “The Sacred Now” is how Philadelphia earned the title, “City of Murals.”


There is no better time than now for a mural scavenger hunt: October is Mural Arts Month, which might be enough time to find roughly 3500 artworks scattered around the city.

MAP offers two hour tours via Segway for $85 per person.

So the changing air of fall whirling through Philly’s streets might be enough to make you grab your boots, scarves, and friends to turn a once familiar walk into an entirely new experience.

Contact Shawna Daly at

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