With the decline of art educational programs within many public educational institutions, the role of non-profit community art organizations is becoming increasingly important. This study investigates the specific roles of community murals and mural programs within urban spaces. The results are drawn from the analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with six individuals. These individuals were selected as they were employed in a variety of capacities by either 'Great Murals' or 'Wall Arts.' The results are analyzed under six main categories which emerge from the data: structure and operations of the organizations; transformation of spaces; giving voice and empowerment; attainment of skills; equality of medium and space; and last, the role of mural content in an image-based society. Most importantly, the mural programs are found to be a source of cultural and social capital for community members; allow for community engagement of diverse constituents; empower, give voice to and transform communities; and lastly, many of the murals themselves constitute new types of images within their communities, mixing values of traditional painting with advertisement strategies, selling not a material object but instead a social issue or view.


Frese, Pamela


Sociology and Anthropology


Other Arts and Humanities | Place and Environment

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Lauren E. Bloomfield