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Mural Arts paid homeless artists to paint 200 columns underneath Broad Street

WHYY    October 13, 2021

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The subway concourse at Walnut Street Station in Philadelphia is supported by about 200 concrete columns, which are holding up South Broad Street.

Each is now painted with artistic designs, as part of a program that employs people experiencing homelessness and economic insecurity.

The rows of columns were designed with geometric patterns by artist Lauren Cat West and painted by hundreds of people hired through Color Me Back, a program of Mural Arts Philadelphia that identifies people who are homeless or economically insecure, pays them $50 for working a 4-hour workday, and offers them social services.

Color Me Back is a component of Mural Arts’ Porchlight initiative, creating public art projects in partnership with the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS).

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