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Philly Celebrates Keith Haring Mural Restoration

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There’s a sigh of relief knowing we’ve managed to save our Philly Keith Haring connection.

As a kid I used to craft reasons to pass by the vibrant mural Keith Haring painted in 1987 along with the City Kids in Point Breeze. It was a rare treasure to have smack dab in the middle of a bustling urban neighborhood. That mural is a symbol of his love for public art and community that extended past his work in galleries and museums. Over the years, We the Youth had slowly fallen into disrepair. In 2012, the house the mural is painted on the side of went on the market, and the community wondered if the new owners would understand its importance to Keith’s legacy. After all, it does hold the distinction of being the last Haring community collaborated mural left intact.

Low and behold the couple who purchased it in 2012 – who knew nothing of Haring and his work – did some digging and figured out just what a treasure they’d stumbled onto. They contacted the Haring Foundation and the wheels were set in motion. The foundation donated funds to the Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program who called in a restoration team. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was also bought in to restore the adjacent garden.

And on Saturday, November 2, 2013 all those supporters showered stories and memories on Haring’s parents who sat beaming and tearing up in the front row. Some of the City Kids who help out on the original mural reminisced about their time with Keith; while the new generation of City Kids honored the occasion with song & dance. And I stood alongside the neighborhood’s overjoyed families as we and a crowd of Haring’s friends and fans what can only be described as a 2-hour celebration of love, life and art.

We the Youth is located at 22nd & Ellsworth Streets/Philadelphia PA…come see it.

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