Murals on a Mission

Murals on a Mission: New Kensington is a project designed to energize the community of New Kensington, Pennsylvania through high-impact public art. The partnership harnessesthe power of large-scale, text-based murals to enhance the visibility of the city, create a sense of place—and bring color, vibrancy, and new character to the urban environment.

About Murals on a Mission

In the spring of 2020, Rivers of Steel joined a group of passionate business and community partners from the City of New Kensington, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, coming together to discuss a vision for the future of their community—and the role public art might play. Inspired by the work of numerous independent murals recently created in the city center, the project team conceived a strategy to increase this density of public art and support the city’s effort to reimagine its downtown. The collective effort, entitled Murals on a Mission: New Kensington, steadily gathered momentum throughout 2020-2021, catalyzed by important seed funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The community partners engaged Rivers of Steel’s Graffiti Arts program as a regional leader in the field, to help steward this project and yield a successful model demonstrating the power of graffiti style-writing as a tool for creative placemaking. The project team engaged with local residents and stakeholders during public events and gatherings during the summer of 2021, solicting words and phrases that individual community members thought of when imagining the future New Kensington. Using this inspiration, eight large-scale murals have been established in close proximity to the city’s Corridor of Innovation, creating a colorful and energetic outdoor experience that supports and enhances existing economic development efforts that are currently underway at the county and district levels.

The long-term vision for this project includes expanded mural formats, visiting artists programs, interactive technological experiences, and community-driven events that bring people to downtown New Kensington for educational experiences. Rivers of Steel remains a committed partner in the effort to reimagine the future of New Kensington.

Stay up to date with this project by following it on Facebook or tracking the hashtag #MuralsOnAMission on Instagram.

Learn more about the events

such as tours, workshops, and festivals happening at each unique attraction.