Mural Arts Philadelphia will host the 2022 Wall Ball, the public art program’s annual gala fundraiser, on Thursday, June 9, 2022, to commemorate the many artists, programs, and projects that beautify, inspire and empower Philadelphia and beyond. Presented by Citizens, the celebration held at 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia will bring Mural Arts supporters, artists, local government officials, community and business leaders together for a celebration to raise funds towards Mural Arts’ mission of transforming public spaces and individual lives through art. In creative fashion, guests will experience live art making, including mural making on 2300 Arena walls, screen printing, music, food by Catering by Design, and fun. The focus of the 2022 gala will be on artists and projects from Mural Arts’ Art Education program that engages students with art at a young age with in-school curriculum and after-school programming.
“Wall Ball is our biggest fundraising night of the year, where artists and community members come together to celebrate the art that goes beyond our walls,” said Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts. “We are so grateful to have sponsors like Citizens and our guests that join us at this event. With their help, we fund so many of our public art projects and programs —like Art Education— that make a meaningful impact across Philadelphia. This year, we can’t wait to showcase the work of our artists, empowering youth to be leaders and changemakers in our city.”
“We’re thrilled to be back in person this year,” said Dan Astolfi, Executive Vice President for Commercial Banking at Citizens and Vice Chair of the Mural Arts Philadelphia board. “Citizens has been a proud supporter of Mural Arts Philadelphia and its mission for 20 years and has contributed over $600,000 to its mission to transform neighborhoods and lives through public art. Mural Arts provides crucial avenues for community engagement and education – they are one of Citizens’ many investments to elevate opportunities and experiences for City residents.”
With a special spotlight on one of its core programs, Art Education, Mural Arts will recognize two honorees and the recipient of this year’s Visionary Artist Award at the 2022 Wall Ball celebration for their participation in bringing art to children at a fundamental age through its school programs. Mural Arts’ Art Education program provides both in-school and after-school arts-based programming across the city of Philadelphia, where students can work with locally, nationally, and internationally known artists, contribute to major public art projects, develop creative portfolios, and showcase artwork at exhibitions. The program also helps students apply for scholarships, internships, and jobs in the creative sector. Each year since 2014, at Mural Arts’ annual Wall Ball, the organization honors an exceptional visual artist with the Visionary Artist Award, presented by Craig Grossman of Arts & Crafts Holdings. At the 2022 Wall Ball, Mural Arts will honor:
● Artist Roberto Lugo with Visionary Artist Award Philadelphia potter, activist, and educator, Roberto Lugo was selected as the recipient of this award as an artist that uses the power of art to unify and inspire a community. Lugo is a Kensington-born potter, social activist, spoken word poet, and educator, currently collaborating with Mural Arts’ Art Education program on a monumental mural project titled The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can be Anything. The mural design is inspired by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, a leading member of The Roots, as well as a proud Philadelphian. The mural will be installed on the side of the new location for The Clay Studio, a well-known Philadelphia institution for clay artists, at 1425 N. American St. It will be installed as construction nears completion in 2022. The Clay Studio is a gallery space showcasing the works of local clay artists and offers ceramic art courses. In addition to honoring one artist with the Visionary Artist Award, Mural Arts will also honor two women for their dedication to Mural Arts and Art Education program, including:
● Romona Riscoe Benson – Honoree As PECO’s Director of Corporate & Community Impact, Romona Riscoe Benson directs efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility. This includes leading community efforts in workforce development, vulnerable customer assistance outreach, and corporate
grant making and sponsorships. She serves the company’s six-county service region. In addition, Benson serves on the company’s emergency response team as a Communications Information Officer. She also is a leading voice on diversity, equity, and inclusion, serving as a core member of the company’s Racial Equity Initiative and PECO Women Connected–all designed to deepen PECO’s commitment to honest conversations and commitment to authentic culture impact and access to opportunities. Prior to her role at PECO, Benson served as President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
● Kathryn Ott Lovell – Honoree In her position as Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), Kathryn Ott Lovell oversees 700 full-time employees, more than 2,700 part-time and seasonal employees, over 10,200 acres of land, 500 buildings, 166 miles of trail, 250 playgrounds,
and thousands of programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. Prior to her role as PPR Commissioner, Lovell served as Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, an organization that exists to champion Philadelphia’s parks and the role they play in strengthening civic life, public health, and economic development.
For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2022 Wall Ball, please visit muralarts.org. Wall Ball will take place on Thursday, June 9, 2022, at 2300 Arena, located at 2300 S. Swanson St., Philadelphia, PA 19148., from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm, with a VIP experience beginning for VIP ticket holders at 6:30 pm. Tickets for general admission are $250 but can be purchased as a bundled pair for $450. VIP tickets can
be purchased for $500. To purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.muralarts.org/wallball2022/