Founder, Executive Director at Mural Arts Philadelphia, USA
Jane Golden is the Founder and Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia and has been a driving force for the organization, overseeing its growth from a small city agency into the nation’s largest mural program and model for community development across the country and around the globe. Under Jane’s direction, Mural Arts Philadelphia has created over 4,000 landmark works of public art through innovative collaborations with communities, grassroots organizations, city agencies, schools and philanthropies. Initially hired as a young artist by former Mayor Wilson Goode to help combat the graffiti crisis plaguing Philadelphia, Golden reached out to graffiti writers to help turn their destructive energies into creative ones. In the process, she recognized the raw artistic talent among the graffiti writers and provided them with fresh opportunities to channel their creativity and ideas into mural-making. The murals themselves transformed city neighborhoods which had long suffered from years of neglect and hardship. Those experiences led her to found Mural Arts Philadelphia. Jane has received numerous awards for her expertise and accomplishments, including the Philadelphia Award, the Girl Scouts Take the Lead Award, the Moore College of Art Visionary Woman Award, an Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship, and recognition as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. She holds an MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and a BA in Fine Arts and Political Science from Stanford University. She has also received honorary PhDs from Swarthmore College, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Widener University, Haverford College, and Villanova University.
For over 35 years, Mural Arts has united 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 engages communities in 50–100 public art projects each year, and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative. Our core program areas—Art Education, Restorative Justice, and Porch Light—yield unique, project-based learning opportunities for thousands of youth and adults.
Each year, 15,000 residents and visitors tour Mural Arts’ outdoor art gallery, which has become part of the city’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.”