Philadelphia is a place for public art, from traditional sculpture to imaginative expressions of community and identity, which can be found all over the city. This is due in no small part to Mural Arts Program, which received a 2009 grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Heritage Philadelphia Program (HPP) for Journeys South, a group of four interactive public art projects meant to explore, celebrate, and give voice to the multitude of immigrant histories that make up the diverse neighborhoods of South Philadelphia. The Journeys South festival has offered free public walking tours every Saturday since April 27, and is scheduled to end this Saturday, June 11—last chance, so pencil it in!
Mural Arts and HPP invited a lucky group of Center staffers along, on a hot day in late May, to experience the tour and hear from the participating artists in their own words. We snapped photos, tweeted, and took extensive mental notes on the stories of our very own neighbors. Read on for part one of our Journeys South experience.