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New Initiative Brings Artworks To Shuttered Philly Businesses

Matt Rourke
Workers affix a poster to a shuttered business in Philadelphia, Monday, May 4, 2020. The Center City District and Mural Arts Philadelphia posted the original works on multiple locations in an effort to enhance the neighborhood awash with business shuttere

A new initiative is bringing works by Philadelphia artists to some downtown businesses temporarily shuttered in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

The Center City District and Mural Arts Philadelphia said two dozen works by 11 artists were selected for installation over the boarded-up windows of nine locations ranging from small retailers to large restaurants.

Protective plywood boards installed by business owners at 56 downtown locations have drawn graffiti, and crews have been painting the boards black to stem the problem. As part of the Storefront Artwork Initiative, works of art were printed on 6-by-6-foot panels of parachute cloth and applied with acrylic gel adhesive to the boards.

District president and CEO Paul Levy said it's intended to “temporarily brighten the physical environment, engage local artists and send the message that through creativity and innovation we will prevail.” He said it's important to ensure that Center City “remains ready to welcome back workers, students and shoppers as this crisis ends.”