Messages for the City: Dreaming Forward
Times Square Arts and For Freedoms join forces once more to present artists’ messages in Times Square. In Messages for the City: Dreaming Forward, eight artists invite reflection on our collective futures. This new iteration of the collaborative public art campaign Messages for the City calls together that has been featured in For Freedoms’ nationwide 50 States Initiative and 2020 Awakening campaigns. United now in Times Square, they are meditative declarations and interrogations that remind us to pause, reflect, and ready ourselves for work that lies ahead. All messages speak to the respective artist’s desires and intentions for the future — they consider love, freedom, coexistence, and inclusive representation. They serve as prompts for the continued responsibility we share in shaping our world — collectively.
As a year full of unprecedented challenges comes to a close and a new one begins, Messages for the City continues its promise of amplifying artist voices and broadcasting them directly to the public. This campaign began at the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when Times Square Arts, together with For Freedoms, Poster House, and Print Magazine, invited artists to create public service announcements and messages of solidarity and gratitude to New Yorkers across the city. At the time, images of an empty Times Square had become emblematic of how swiftly public life shifted. Now months later, amidst concurrent crises brought on by racial injustices and a contentious U.S. presidential election, Times Square and many of our communities have returned to public spaces as sites of protest, political action, and creative expression. Dreaming Forward speaks directly to the concerns of the current moment and invites us to envision a more equitable future through the eyes of these artists.
Look out for the Dreaming Forward messages on the Big Belly receptasigns in over 120 locations across the Times Square district.