On Feb. 7, 2009, the Hepburn Medal was awarded to Jane Golden, Director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. The award recognizes her tireless efforts to build community through public art, engage at-risk youth, beautify the city, and crusade for social justice as the director of the Mural Arts Program. Just as Bryn Mawr launches this generation's brightest young women onto their own paths, Jane Golden's murals inspire those who view them to know that their dreams are attainable, when taken one brushstroke at a time.
The Hepburn Medal honors Jane Golden’s extraordinary contributions to civic life in Philadelphia. The drive behind the Mural Arts Program since 1984, Golden holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and degrees in Fine Arts and Political Science from Stanford University. In addition, Ms. Golden has received honorary Ph.D.s from Swarthmore College, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Widener University, and most recently Haverford College and Villanova University.
Sought after nationally and internationally as an expert in urban transformation through art, Golden has received numerous awards for her work, including the Philadelphia Award, the Girl Scouts of America Take the Lead Award, the Moore College of Art Visionary Woman Award, an Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship, the Award for Social Justice from the Philadelphia Alliance, and recognition as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania from Governor Edward G. Rendell. Ms. Golden has just been honored with the LaSalle University Alumni Association’s Signum Fidei Medal and accepted, on behalf of the organization, the Adela Dwyer / St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award. In September of 2007 the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Eagles named Ms. Golden one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians.
Over the past two decades, the Mural Arts Program has created over 2,800 murals and works of public art, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.” The Mural Arts Program engages over 100 communities each year in the transformation of neighborhoods through the mural-making process. The Mural Arts Program’s award-winning, free art education programs annually serve over 3,000 youth at sites located throughout the city and at-risk teens through its special education outreach programs. The Mural Arts Program also serves adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.