Today Show: Philadelphia Mural Arts Program & Using Graffiti For Good

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Today Education Nation: Using Graffiti For Good

Once thought of as an eyesore, now graffiti is being reclaimed and turned into community art. From NBC News, Craig Melvin took a fresh look at how the face of graffiti is changing with Philly’s Mural Arts Program.

Today: Mural Arts Program Philadelphia

Today Show: Philadelphia Mural Arts Program & Using Graffiti For Good

In Philadelphia, the Mural Arts Program is using graffiti for good and transforming the urban landscape with creative, meaningful works by young students.

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In Philadelphia, the Mural Arts Program has become the largest public art program in the country. Instead of allowing graffiti to flourish on buildings, the city got creative and put the power in the hands of young residents to transform their neighborhoods using artistic expression.

Buildings, bridges, and other urban canvases have come to life throughout the city. “We saw that murals could be a catalyst for positive social change in a very real way,” Mural Arts Program executive director Jane Golden said.

Today Show: The Roots Mural In Philadelphia

The project began in 1984, connecting students, teachers, and artists in elaborate projects spanning thousands of murals throughout the city. There seems to be no limit to the materials, techniques, and inspirations behind these works.

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A new mural celebrates Philadelphia natives The Roots, who are now the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Over 30,000 artists between the ages of nine and 22 have contributed over the years.

Today: Mural Arts Program Teachers & Students

Jamee Grigsby came through the program and said it shaped her life. She has gone from student to teacher thanks to the Mural Arts Program. One of her projects was to help kids make garbage cans around the city more appealing, which they did by painting them as cartoon monsters.

The skills such as math and teamwork in the mural program have carried over to the classroom for students. The kids seem to be having a positive experience, and the murals look great.

Today Show: Mural Arts Program Graduation Rate

If you are heading to Philadelphia, be sure to check out a paid tour of the murals produced by the program. Your ticket cost goes to support the mural program.

This fall, for the first time, the Mural Arts Program will be worked into a school’s curriculum. Craig Melvin concluded his report by noting that the program’s participants have a stunning 100% high school graduation rate.

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