Innovative Projects

Messages for the City

Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Times Square Arts presented Messages for the City in partnership with Poster House, PRINT Magazine, and For Freedoms. First debuted on April 17, 2020, this Times Square and citywide public art campaign featured artist-designed PSAs and messages of love, gratitude, and solidarity with New York City’s health care and essential workers. Displayed on the electronic billboards of Times Square, the digital billboards above the Lincoln Tunnel, and nearly 1,800 LinkNYC kiosks across all five boroughs, the initiative turned New York City’s digital displays into platforms of public service and appreciation through the lens of established and emerging graphic designers and visual artists from around the world. A rotating display of designs were on view in Times Square (some continue to this day) on an ongoing basis at the 00, 15, 30, and 45-minute marks throughout each day. The program has since expanded to include content printed on street level advertising spaces in the form of BigBelly solar compacting receptacles throughout the district.

The most challenging aspect of the project was the pace at which we had to work, as the project was conceived and launched within a month of the New York City stay-at-home order. Times Square Arts’ staff was able to organize quickly with assistance from partners, artists, collaborators and screen operators. All involved with the project shared the same sense of urgency to respond to the unfolding crisis.

Project Details

Messages for the City

Times Square Alliance


Public Space Management and Operations
$7500001 and over
New York
New York