Since our founding in 2004, Interfaith Philadelphia has challenged Philadelphians to dare to understand one another. Our work with congregations, schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces celebrates the diversity of Philadelphia and demonstrates the vibrancy of a religiously diverse democracy. In response to recent acts of hate that have occurred both in Philadelphia and throughout the country, and with generous seed funding from Pew Charitable Trusts, Interfaith Philadelphia has launched the Dare to Understand Public Arts Initiative.
In partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia, Interfaith Philadelphia is creating a mural series engaging various creative perspectives on what it means to dare to understand. In 2017, following the desecration of Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Mural Arts, Interfaith Philadelphia, and the Wissinoming community came together to create the mural titled Cultivate Respect (seen below), linking botanical imagery with the values of respect.
The second mural in this series is located at the Aquinas Center in South Philadelphia and is dedicated in honor of S.A. Ibrahim, former CEO of Radian Group, through the generosity of the Board of Radian. We will continue to offer opportunities for events and programming at the Aquinas Center, furthering Interfaith Philadelphia's goal to use public art to create spaces for education, public conversation, and the celebration of diversity.
Interfaith Philadelphia is proud to work with Mural Arts to harness the power of art to inspire us and to prompt discourse on the challenging issues of the day. The heart of the Dare to Understand mural series will be its locus in historic Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy, founded on the ideals of human dignity and religious tolerance. This provides dynamic potential for both artistic engagement with our shared values and a creative response in divisive times.
Through this initiative, Philadelphia will live up to its name as the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection as we dare to understand one another.
This project is made possible by PEW Charitable Trust. Inspired by the success of the Spring 2015 Dare to Understand Community Response Campaign, PEW dedicated $25,000 to seed the idea of a Public Art Initiative which would carry through this message of love and understanding across the region for decades to come…