Times Square Arts, Poster House, and For Freedoms Partner For Next Phase Of Digital PSAs Throughout NYC, Plus 300+ JCDecaux Screens in New York, Boston and Chicago

Launches Exclusive Art Print Benefiting Essential Immigrant Workers

Messages for the City - Christine Sun Kim PSA

(NEW YORK, NY – May 15, 2020)Times Square Arts, For Freedoms and Poster House are pleased to announce the second phase of their now multi-city campaign, which is on view on digital displays throughout all five boroughs of New York City and on JCDecaux screens in New York, Boston and Chicago. Each artwork acknowledges the continued service of essential workers.

Starting today, phase two of the campaign features artworks by major contemporary artists Alixa Garcia, Carrie Mae Weems, Christine Sun Kim, Christine Wong Yap, Duke Riley, Jenny Holzer, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, G.O.N.G. with Mel Chin, Nekisha Durrett, Paula Crown, Pedro Reyes, and Xaviera Simmons.

These artists join the graphic designers organized by Poster House and PRINT, whose work has been on view since the campaign’s launch in April, including Ola Baldych, Seymour Chwast, Pablo Delcan, Matt Dorfman, Milton Glaser, Jessica Hische, Joe Hollier, Mirko Ilić, Maira Kalman, Ross MacDonald, Bobby Martin and Jennifer Kinon, Richard McGuire, Debbie Millman, Emily Oberman, Gemma O’Brien, Edel Rodriguez, Paul Sahre, Paula Scher, Klaas Verplancke, Strick&Williams, and Zipeng Zhu.

“We’re excited to expand this citywide campaign with For Freedoms and a powerful group of artists with new messages acknowledging the hundreds of thousands who persist in sustaining us through each chapter of this pandemic - in particular the immigrant and undocumented workers who face greater risks and significantly less access to resources and support,” said Times Square Arts Director Jean Cooney.

“Especially in times of uncertainty and change, artists can figuratively — and in Times Square literally — shine a light on hidden truths and celebrate those people and phenomena which are often unseen or unacknowledged. Our partnership with both For Freedoms and the New York Immigration Coalition speaks to that, " added Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance.

Duke Riley thumbnail nurseKameelah Janan Rasheed thumbnail

Left: Work by Duke Riley. Right: Work by Kameelah Janan Rasheed.

In keeping the positive momentum, the public art campaign aims to encourage a sense of community and pride among New Yorkers, and give artists the opportunity to express their gratitude and optimism through the power of art. This group of contemporary artists joins the chorus of graphic designers in the ongoing global gesture aimed at honoring the essential workers — doctors and nurses, public transportation personnel, Times Square’s sanitation and safety workers, grocery store employees, delivery staff, restaurant workers, and more — who put themselves at risk on behalf of others.

“Art asks us to pause, to take a moment to consider what is in front of us. We hope that this project will further encourage us to pause, consider and appreciate those whose jobs are essential, who return to their nightly hospital shifts or daily customer service responsibilities, to guarantee that we are taken care of through this pandemic and beyond. We thank Times Square Arts for collaborating with us to ensure that we take this time to express our gratitude for these workers, for art, and for our community,” said For Freedoms.

"We're enthusiastic about how this project has evolved, with even more artists coming together to show gratitude for frontline essential workers and spread positivity to communities all across the city," said Poster House Director Julia Knight. "As long as New York continues to battle this epidemic, we will keep finding dynamic ways to amplify these artists' important and inspiring messages."


Image: Pedro Reyes. On the other hand (2017).In solidarity with New York’s nearly 2 million immigrant workers, this iteration of the PSA campaign includes the launch of a new limited edition benefit print by Pedro Reyes, produced by Brooklyn Editions. Net proceeds from the sales of Reyes’ print will be donated to The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) , the advocacy organization that represents over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout New York. In response to COVID-19 pandemic, NYIC has launched the #NYunitedFund to help ensure the health and safety of New York’s immigrants on the frontlines. The print is available for purchase here.

"We're grateful to Times Square Alliance and For Freedoms for this public art project recognizing the contributions of New York's immigrant essential workers. We are especially appreciative of Pedro Reyes' announcement to donate proceeds from his print sale to the #NYUnited Fund, providing cash assistance to our frontline workers bearing the brunt of the pandemic. At a time when all of us face so much uncertainty and insecurity, this project is a reminder of all that is possible when we come together to recognize and advocate for the health and security of each and every one of us," said Steve Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition.

A major advocate for immigration rights, Reyes is known for his socially and politically-engaged artworks that explore the power of individual and collective organization to incite change through communication, creativity, happiness, and humor.

"Social distancing is a privilege. I chose this drawing as an homage to those workers who work with their hands and on whom we depend to keep society going,” said  artist Pedro Reyes.

Image: Pedro Reyes. On the other hand (2020).


The designs and artworks are on view on digital billboards and screens throughout New York City, kicking off in Times Square on screens provided by Morgan Stanley, American Eagle, Maefield Development, and Branded Cities’ NASDAQ and Thomson Reuters displays, and expanding to all five boroughs through 1,774 LinkNYC kiosks, F.Y.eye screens in New York’s settlement houses, senior centers, food pantries, and health clinics, JCDecaux screens, Pearl Media billboards at Atlantic Terminal, and all digital spaces donated to the project.

Following this expansion, the next critical phase of this campaign will highlight the voices of New York City’s essential workers through an open call for individuals across all professions who continue to sustain our city on the front lines of this pandemic. More details will be released at a later date.

Times Square screens are generously provided by Morgan Stanley, American Eagle, Maefield Development, and Branded Cities.

Times Square Arts
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators, such as Mel Chin, Tracey Emin, Jeffrey Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity.

Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Visit www.timessquarenyc.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

Poster House
Opened in 2019, Poster House is a new design museum that draws out hidden histories of poster art as never before, maps their continued role in today’s media landscape, and explores what posters can reveal about a specific time and place through a combination of design, art, advertising, and public messaging. Recent exhibitions include The Sleeping Giant: Posters & The Chinese Economy, Baptized By Beefcake: The Golden Age of Hand-Painted Movie Posters from Ghana, and Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau / Nouvelle Femme.

For Freedoms
For Freedoms is a platform for creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms’ exhibitions, installations, and public programs use art to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values, and to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. As a nexus between art, politics, commerce, and education, For Freedoms aims to inject anti-partisan, critical thinking that fine art requires into the political landscape through programming, exhibitions, and public artworks. In 2018, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative: the largest creative collaboration in U.S. history.

New York Immigration Coalition
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State. We envision a New York state that is stronger because all people are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. Our mission is to unite immigrants, members, & allies so all New Yorkers can thrive. We represent the collective interests of New York's diverse immigrant communities and organizations and devise solutions to advance them; advocate for laws, policies, and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups; and build the power of immigrants and the organizations that serve them to ensure their sustainability, to improve people's lives, and to strengthen our state.

LinkNYC is the first-of-its-kind communications network replacing the city’s payphones to create the world’s fastest and largest free public Wi-Fi network. LinkNYC provides important tools to communities to access connectivity and social services, and provides real-time updates, information, and content via the kiosks' digital displays. More than 9 million people have used the free gigabit Wi-Fi service and over 200,000 phone calls are made each week. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers access 311 and Aunt Bertha, a platform to connect with local nonprofits and services, via Link tablets every month to access information on housing and other resources. All of LinkNYC’s services are 100% free for users and come at no cost to taxpayers. For more information and to find a Link near you, visit link.nyc .

JCDecaux is a member of the JCDecaux Group, the world’s largest out of home media group with operations in more than 80 countries. In the United States JCDecaux operates across several lines of business including street furniture, billboards, transit and malls. It has street furniture programs in major U.S. cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, and operates advertising concessions in the nation’s major transit hubs, including John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Boston Logan Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

F.Y. Eye is a New York nonprofit advertising group that works exclusively with other nonprofits, social enterprises, and government agencies to build public awareness about the wealth of social, civic, educational, legal, financial and health-related resources available to people in need. Since 2005, they have helped more than 100 mission-driven organizations distribute over 185 campaigns that generate attention and action on issues of public concern. Their keystone program is the F.Y. Eye PSA Network, an ecosystem of digital displays located in high-traffic nonprofits throughout New York, built specifically to promote critical advocacy messages and community programs.

20 Times Square and Maefield Development
For more than a decade, Mark Siffin, CEO of Maefield Development, which owns 20 Times Square, has delivered passionate support for the Times Square community and the Alliance. As a life-long artist himself, Siffin consistently embraces the importance of young artists being presented to the 127MM-person pedestrian audience that Times Square delivers every year. 20 Times Square is at the epicenter of this activity and serves as the show case stage in our daily celebration of our shared humanity.

Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com .

American Eagle
AE is jeans, clothing & accessories designed to make you feel like the best, most comfortable you. We believe in freedom, individuality, and self-expression.

Come in. Be you. #AExME

Branded Cities
Branded Cities, which is owned by EL Media and Shamrock Capital, is a leading Out-of-Home media company with an integrated network of premier digital and static signage across North America. The digital and static media assets span across some of the largest markets in the United States and Canada (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and many more) and are situated in the country’s most valuable Out-of-Home environments such as Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip, West Hollywood, Union Station, Yonge – Dundas Square and Canada’s leading shopping centers. Branded Cities empowers brands to deliver impactful and engaging messages to North America’s most desirable, hard-to-reach audiences. EL Media is an affiliate of The Ellman Companies (“Ellman”). Ellman is a privately-owned media, real estate and investments group founded in 1972 with diverse interests in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. For more information visit: brandedcities.ca , brandedcities.com , or ellmanco.com .

Brooklyn Editions
Brooklyn Editions is the digital printmaking studio of photographer and master printer Stephen Gross. With more than 20 years of printing experience, Stephen provides personalized support for a variety of visual projects. His mission is to combine technical expertise with an artist’s eye in order to help clients bring their creative vision into reality. His approach is to work one on one with every client and to intimately understand the needs and goals of every project. www.brooklyneditions.com


Marcella Zimmermann
Vice President, Cultural Counsel

Ali Rigo
Senior Account Executive, Cultural Counsel

View press materials online