Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, is the largest public platform for innovative contemporary performance and visual arts. With 312,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, it is one of the highest profile public arts programs and since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of more than five dozen prominent and emerging artists.
Times Square Arts collaborates with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places.
Times Square Arts is a laboratory for contemporary art in the public realm – a place where ideas are tested and new possibilities explored. We work with artists and cultural institutions to create dialogues with Times Square and all of its physical and mythological manifestations. 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 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.
Through Times Square Arts, Times Square aspires to be:
An internationally recognized leader in integrating art into the urban fabric
A must-visit destination to experience groundbreaking, site-specific contemporary art that can’t be found anywhere else
A place where boundaries are pushed and the spirit of creative risk-taking is embraced and celebrated – in business, entertainment, and art
A catalyst for new and unexpected connections and conversations
All of the work of Times Square Arts is the product of collaboration – between the Arts Program and artists, cultural institutions, businesses, non-profits and the leadership and agencies of New York City government. The residents and visitors of Times Square are collaborators as well, because without them the artwork cannot come to life.
Responsive to place
All of Times Square Arts’ projects respond to Times Square’s uniqueness as a place – its physical characteristics (technology, scale, etc.), its diversity and concentration of people, and its multi-faceted role in the popular imagination. By definition, therefore, the work is site-specific and could not happen elsewhere.
Times Square is a place where risks are taken and boundaries are pushed. In this spirit, the Arts Program asks artists and cultural organizations to stretch themselves and the audience, so that everyone experiences something new.
Times Square Arts creates the conditions for conversations to happen – between the artist and the space, the artwork and the audience, and passersby with one another. Conversations create social capital and connect us to each other; they are also essential to the creative process.
The process of artistic creation can be as rich and exciting as the artistic product itself, and yet it is something that most audiences rarely get to experience. The Arts Program is committed to engaging people in new ways by making the creative process transparent – for Alliance stakeholders, partners, and audiences.
The largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on Times Square’s spectacular signage.
At the Crossroads:
Installations and performances on the public plazas of Times Square.
Performances, talks, tours and media-based programs that explore the unexpected history, design and narrative of the district.