Mural Feedback Summarized

Thank you everybody for the great discussion about proposed First Community Mural. 26 people made 175 comments in less than two weeks expressed their opinions and ideas on both Philadelphia News website and Russian Philly parents group on Facebook.

We wanted to make sure that valuable ideas expressed will not get lost among emotions and decided to summarize them. Please, read, comment and spread the information.

Original concept

The NE Philadelphia faceless landscape screams for an accent or a pop of color. With a large “Russian” community residing in this area, a cultural Mural is a great fit. The youth of the Russian community and the Art Studio “Pallet” will visually portray the Russian heritage on the mural located on: Somerton Shopping plaza, 10833 Bustleton Avenue.

Visual idea – Children relaxing with a Philadelphia skyline in the background and speaking about the different cities WE come from represented by images of the cities in conversational “bubbles”

Alternative concept

The idea of having a cultural mural to portray our heritage is a great one, but the visual idea is up for a debate. According to Yelena Glikman with whom, many may agree the idea to concentrate on where we come from “physically” not only will further divide the “Russian” community from the American one, but will also divide community itself.

Proposed Idea – The mural should illustrate the richness of talents and culture that is here, on American soil. The lead idea is our integration within the diverse American culture and society by portraying the impact of Russian immigrants on American life.

Visual idea – Portray musicians, scientists, writers, and artists who are Russians or from a Russian decent who contributed to the American society.

Additional concepts

  • Perhaps an artist dressed in Georgian, Russian, etc outfit finishing Stars and Stripes on American flag, a child dressed in Ukrainian outfit planting flowers next to the pole of American flag, there are so many ways to represent our large community.
  • Mural depicting “victims of communism”
  • It would be a wonderful idea to create a house of Russian culture and art and literature , which would constitute a better monument and testimony to a unique baggage that USSR immigrants brought with them

Main positive Ideas from comments:

Since it is a youth project the children should propose what heritage means to them since they are our future here in America. Nevertheless they should be guided and directed in order to create a mural that will portray our heritage in a deeper and insightful way

  • Nostalgia is a natural and expected feeling among the most successful and well adopted immigrants in this country and it should not be viewed and regarded as a symbol of disrespect to a new home. The word “heritage” refers to something that is inherited from the past. Life in the cities that are located throughout post-Soviet territory is a part of past cultural experience that immigrants and their children brought with them to this country.
  • Necessary to show gratitude to American people who have been helping the Russian immigration.


It is necessary to continue the discussion and bring it offline. Mosaica festival and Lyudmila Makarova school invites everybody to continue it at this site and bring it to other online forums and come to the studio on Saturday, August 17th, at 6 pm to finalize it. Address of the studio is 121 Windswept drive, Feasterville, PA, 19053


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