Mural Arts’ Porch Light Toolkit

Mural Arts in Philadelphia believes that hands-on art-making provides a strong pathway for individual and community healing.

Their Porch Light program, a joint collaboration with the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, focuses on achieving universal health and wellness among Philadelphians by providing opportunities to contribute to works of public art.

Porch Light projects are driven by issues that have tangible effects on local communities, such as mental health, substance use, spirituality, homelessness, trauma, immigration, war, and neighborhood safety. The targeted outcomes of any Porch Light project include:

  • improvements to the physical environment
  • new opportunities for social connections
  • positive changes within a community, such as enhanced unity and empathy among neighbors

The Porch Light program has created 27 murals, had 374 participants in 2 years, and engaged over 3,000 community members in the work.

To aid with replication of the program, Porch Light has created a replication manual that walks through the three phases of a mural project, the deep partnerships needed for success, and practical documents for making the program go. Read more about about the Porch Light Project on Creative Exchange, and get the toolkit below!

Featured above: The Color of Your Voice by Keir Johnston & Ernel Martinez. Photo by Steve Weinik.