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Philly Mural Arts Program Collaborates with Cuba on Public Art

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May 16, 2016

Following the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014, American cultural organizations have worked to build artistic relationships with the island nation and create a platform for the affirmation of unity. The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, alongside local Cuban artists, plans to use a large-scale mural as an opportunity for connection and shared creativity.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the disparate worlds of Philadelphia and Cuba will merge in one 6,000-square-foot mural being produced by the city's Mural Arts Program for the coastal town of Cárdenasa joint public-arts venture that sets aside history's animosities and celebrates newfound commonalities.”

Envisioned as the start of annual cultural exchange, Jane Golden, Mural Arts founder, launched the project after discussions with Pamela Molina Martin, a Cuba-phile who directs the Cuba Cultural Exchange. "To think about world affairs, world concerns, is absolutely as important as anything we can teach our students," Golden said. "Opening up their worldview is critical."

The Inquirer notes that, while Mural Arts will provide much of the materials and execution, “the Cuban Association of Craft Artists of Cárdenas came up with the concept for the mural, an expansive rectangle comprising various icons of Cárdenas and Philadelphia.”

Read the full article here.

About Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

The Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts began in 1984 as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network’s effort to eradicate the graffiti crisis plaguing the city. Since then, the organization has grown to become one of the largest public arts initiatives of its kind, producing more than 3,500 murals and providing critical art education and workforce development opportunities through its Community Murals, Art Education and Restorative Justice programs.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.