This We Believe: Living in the Presence of History. Eric Okdeh, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Kien Nguyen (2008-2009). This We Believe was created in celebration of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s 25th anniversary and was painted by over 500 Philadelphians. 29’x105’. (Assistants: Briana Dawkins, Michael Gamble, Andrea Pitt.)

In 2008 Mural Arts Philadelphia launched This We Believe, its first Citywide Mural Project. The goal was ambitious: to create a mural that would represent Philadelphia as the complex city that it is. 

From beginning to end, This We Believe was about meaningful collaboration among Philadelphians with varied perspectives. 

Project leaders envisioned a massive artwork that could be temporarily displayed in its entirety, then divided into pieces and installed in different parts of the city. People across Philadelphia contributed to a deliberate, democratic, and dialogic process that generated the content for the mural. Finally, many hands helped physically make the artwork.

The completed mural, This We Believe: Living in the Presence of History, was dedicated on September 25, 2009. It was widely celebrated as a success, and lessons from the project continue to resonate. 

Even so, only one portion of the mural has found a long term home. This exhibition is a way to continue sharing the mural and the significant process behind its creation.