Cheese steaks, soft pretzels, and the Liberty Bell are all synonymous with Philadelphia
. And thanks to the tireless efforts of Jane Golden, building-sized murals are quickly moving their way up the list of Philadelphia
Golden, the executive director of the extremely successful Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia
, came to visit adjunct professor Mary Ellen Graham’s college composition class on Monday, Dec. 1 to reinforce a recent class exercise. The class had recently completed an assignment in which they went into the city to find a mural to analyze and share their findings to the class.
During the visit, it was apparent how passionate Golden was about her work. When she was asked how it all began, she jumped into an animated story about coming to Philadelphia
in the 1980s that took her on a wild adventure with graffiti gang leaders and a dented undercover police car.
The Mural Arts Program is associated with the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network aimed at cleaning up the city and get children off the street. Under Golden’s leadership, it soon evolved to a public art program aimed to heal ailing neighborhoods. Today, there are almost 3,000 murals across the city.
It was obvious the way her eyes brightened when she was asked a question and the way she gestured her hands when she spoke all showed the class just how excited she is about her work and the positive change it has brought to the city. The class listened intently to her story, intrigued by this amazing woman. No one fell asleep during her presentation; her story was too fascinating. Also, her presentation of it made the class want to listen and learn more.
If there was one thing about Golden’s visit to the class that made the biggest impression, it was a the drive that this woman displays. Her presentation may have motivated some students into believing that they too can make a change that would benefit everyone.