Porchlight Initiative - Mural Arts Program
This video was produced by Valerie Keller and Gail Lloyd for Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia to highlight their innovative Porch Light Initiative - a series of public art projects in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and disAbility Services. These projects are done through community involvement around issues of Behavioral health such as mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction and mental disability. The project featured in this video is a mural called "Personal Renaissance" (lead artist James D. Burns), which was painted on the side of JEVS Human Services methadone clinic in North Philly. It's a gorgeous mural that depicts themes of drug addiction and recovery, and the clients at JEVS helped paint the mural as part of their recovery therapy. It was so successful that not only have ongoing painting and other art programs been instituted at JEVS, but Mural Arts Program received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase and target this work, including a study by the Yale School of Medicine to prove that public art projects can be an effective and money-saving element in behavioral health treatment programs.