Mural Arts


Celebrating the voices, stories, and murals in our community

This year, we are recognizing the way art brings us together through our Community Murals Program. This program gives voice to every person in every part of the city, lifting up untold stories and highlighting local heroes and history. By collaborating with community members, Community Murals empower individuals with a sense of ownership over their physical space through art that represents the complex diversity and beauty of who we are, who we have been, and where we are going.

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Danny Simmons Presents:
A Def Poetry Jam Reunion honoring Sonia Sanchez

This year, we are reviving the hit series, Def Poetry Jam, for Wall Ball 2023. Originally a spoken word poetry television series hosted by hip-hop artist and activist Mos Def, the series featured performances by established and up-and-coming spoken word poets with special performances by many well-known actors and musicians. Our revival will be the main entertainment for the evening, honoring Sonia Sanchez and hosted by the original co-producer, Danny Simmons. Wall Ball 2023 will also feature our muralists with live-painting activations, music, and many other surprises.

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Event Info

Join Us for Mural Arts Wall Ball 2023


Thursday, April 27, 2023
7:30–10:30 PM
VIP Entrance: 6:30–7:30 PM


2300 Arena
2300 S. Swanson Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148

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2023 Honoree

Danny Simmons


Danny Simmons is a published author, poet, painter, and philanthropist. He is a leader in the art world with his philanthropic ventures, artistic talents, and creative mind and drive. Danny Simmons played an instrumental role in the conceiving of and co-producing the hit HBO show Def Poetry Jam, and won a Tony Award for the Broadway version of the show. Today, his works appear in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Smithsonian, United Nations, United States State Department Collection, the PAFA Collection, the Brooklyn Museum and more. He continues to thrive at his ‘home gallery’ in Philadelphia, PA.

2023 Honoree

Sonia Sanchez

Poet, Activist & Writer

Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than 20 books and a recipient of the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Does Your House Have Lions? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Sanchez is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. In December 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter selected Sonia Sanchez as Philadelphia’s first poet laureate, calling her “the longtime conscience of the city.” Sanchez has lectured at more than 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively to read her poetry. Sanchez lives in Philadelphia.

2023 Honoree

Leslie Richards

CEO & General Manager of SEPTA

Leslie S. Richards is the CEO and 11th General Manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the sixth largest public transportation agency in the U.S. that enables the five million residents of the Greater Philadelphia region to connect to each other. A staunch advocate for women and diversity in transportation and government, Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and commitment to public service. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia.

Committee & Sponsors

Wall Ball Committee

Danielle Hankin, Co-Chair Keith Lewis, Co-Chair Sarena Snider, Co-Chair
Kimberly J. Allen Dan Astolfi Tara Theune Davis Julia Fleischner
Nicole Gainer Jane Goldblum Margelle Liss David Pudlin
Courtney Robinson RJ Rushmore Greg Seitter Alexis & Max Tuttleman

Patron Sponsors

Kimberly J. Allen A.P. Construction, Inc. Athena Contracting Inc. Bank of America The Ball Family Foundation Kevin & Joselyn Basden BNY Mellon Borrelli Steel Fabricators, LLC Bowe and Gant Electrical Services CAL Automotive Communications Test Design, Inc. Cozen O'Connor Linda DeJure DIlworth Paxson LLP Dina Wind Art Foundation East Bay Merchant Partners ECBM Jill & Mark Fishman Gessler Construction Co Inc Danielle Hankin Independence Foundation Justi Group, Inc. Joanna Lack & Brendan Lowe Marcello Luzi & Gregory R. Seitter Laura and Marc McKenna Leslie Miller & Richard Worley Foundation Carolyn Bedrosian Nagy Parkway Corporation Parx Casino PennEngineering & Manufacturing Corp. Penn Medicine Philadelphia Eagles PMC Group Jennifer Porges & Joseph Manko, Jr. Pulse Technologies, Inc. RSM US LLP SHIFT Capital Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP TEC Elevator Univest Ken & Judy Weinstein


Catering by Design Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia Signature 57 Witty Gritty