Featured in the Film
Jane Golden, director of the internationally recognized Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, is a leading figure in community arts and a facilitator of groundbreaking activity in the area of arts in corrections. She teaches mural painting and community arts at The University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr and Princeton University.
Read Jane Golden’s introduction to the mural project in the book “Writings on the Healing Walls”…
Tom was born and raised, with two brothers and four sisters, in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. He likes to read and write and recently completed the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. An artist, Tom has been involved with the Mural Arts Program for the past five years. The Healing Walls project was one of the most trying experiences Tom has had, yet, he says it was one of the most rewarding as well. Tom has been imprisoned for almost twenty-five years.
Read Tom’s poem, “I’m Trying to Paint a Picture,”…
Victoria Greene is the founder of E.M.I.R. / Every Murder is Real, a grassroots organization honoring the memory of her son, Emir Greene, who was murdered on March 26, 1997 at the age of 20. In an effort to reduce senseless acts of violence in the City of Philadelphia, E.M.I.R. educates youth, professionals and the community about the effects of drug-related homicides and addresses the trauma that follows the loss of a loved one as a result of murder.
Read Victoria Greene’s perspective as a victim advocate…
Zafir is a self taught artist serving a life sentence at Graterford Prison. He was 35 years old and in prison before he recognized his talent to paint, encouraged by another inmate, Herb Angus, to pursue his talent. Zafir’s work celebrates the triumph of one man's spirit over injustice. He paints to escape the despair of having no legal recourse to remedy the errors that led to his life sentence. He also uses art to communicate messages about inmates to society: that they are deserving of justice and capable of making a positive contribution to the communities they left behind. Growing up in Philadelphia he is familiar with the poverty and violence that young people live with every day that can lead them into trouble. Through art, he hopes to make a difference in his own life, and impact the lives of others.
Read Zafir’s reflections on the Healing Walls process…
City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP) unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. The Mural Arts Restorative Justice Program offers mural-making programs for adult men and women at both state and county correctional facilities, as well as some juvenile facilities, in the Philadelphia area.
The Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Graterford
The State Correctional Institution at Graterford is located 31 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The facility, built in 1929, holds men serving sentences for felony offenses and is Pennsylvania's largest maximum-security prison.