(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions from Artists and Arts Organizations
Are you currently accepting applications or proposals for public art projects in Times Square?
Thank you for your interest in Times Square Arts, the Public Art Program of the Times Square Alliance. We are not currently accepting applications for public art projects in Times Square. We are taking applications for the 2013-14 season now. Sign-up here or future opportunities for artists and arts organizations. For upcoming public art events in Times Square, please visit Current & Upcoming Projects.
- What is the goal of the Times Square Public Art Program?
Through its Public Art Program, the Times Square Alliance brings temporary high-quality, cutting-edge art and performance to Times Square’s public spaces, so that it is known globally as a place where ordinary people encounter authentic, ever-changing urban art in multiple forms and media.
- Who is the Times Square Alliance?
The Times Square Alliance is a non-profit organization that works to promote and improve Times Square. The Alliance’s district stretches from 40th Street to 53rd Street west of Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, including Restaurant Row. We co-produce major events such as the annual New Year’s Eve celebration and Broadway-on-Broadway, and self-produce Taste of Times Square, Solstice in Times Square, the Valentine Sculpture installation and the Best of the Buskers performance series. For more information about the Alliance, please visit www.timessquarenyc.org.
- What kinds of projects does the Times Square Public Art Program support?
The Public Art Program supports projects in all forms of art, performance, design and emerging new media. The projects must satisfy the program’s mission and criteria, plus requirements of any relevant property owner.
- What kinds of projects, artists and organizations has the Alliance assisted in the past?
Since 2005, the Alliance has assisted with presentations produced by Performa, Creative Time, Art Production Fund, El Museo del Barrio, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, Chashama, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Electronic Arts Intermix, Babelgum, Come Out and Play, AIGA/World Studio, Cuban Artists Fund, Theatre for One and the Poetry Society of America. The types of projects include performance art, participatory works, mixed-media installations, gaming, music, theater, dance, sculptures, murals, banners, furniture and video on the giant LED screens. Both emerging and established artists have participated. See Project Archives.
- Are the giant LED screens available for art projects?
The Alliance does not own nor operate any screens in Times Square. Several operators of LED screens have been very supportive of the arts, but the minutes available are very restricted. The Alliance will pursue only a small number of projects for the screens.
- Is amplified sound permitted in Times Square?
In general, amplified sound is not permitted in Times Square, with the exception of one section of Broadway Plaza between 45‐46th Streets. New York City enforces the rule in which amplified sound is not permitted within 500 feet of school or church; In terms of non‐amplified sound, drums and loud instruments are also not permitted. As there are many restaurants, offices, shops and hotels, noise laws are strictly enforced in our district. For more information about noise laws for the City of New York, please visit www.nyc.gov/dep.
- Does the Alliance have funding for art projects?
The Alliance has limited funding. We do not give grants to organizations or individuals, but we provide other forms of support. The program focuses on providing access to one of the world’s most prominent public spaces and assisting with unique services in mass media promotion and event management.
- Can the Alliance assist with Fund Raising?
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Alliance can collaborate on grant proposals or serve an umbrella for donations related to the specific project.
- What services does the Alliance offer to artists, producers, curators or art organizations?
Primarily, the Alliance assists artists and arts organizations in securing access to public spaces, and private property in the district. We can also help with permits, community board approval, NYPD approval, event insurance, pedestrian signage, light pole banners, safety barricades, seating and equipment. Our Public Safety Officers stationed throughout the area provide security and public information, while our sanitation crews set up the space and remove any debris at the end. Site managers can hold locations for truck deliveries and pick-up. The marketing department distributes e-blasts to tens of thousands including all local businesses and posts to social networking sites. The Alliance has more than 353,354 Facebook fans and over 20,000 Twitter Followers. We have over 60,000 monthly website visitors. The Alliance’s public relations consultant, Rubenstein Communications, handles outreach to mainstream print and television coverage. Each year more than 1.5 million tourists enter our Times Square Information Center, where we post updates on current art projects. During a typical day approximately 350,000 pedestrians pass through Times Square.
- Are there any restrictions on the art projects?
In general, the restrictions are no different than any other public space in the City of New York.
- Are there any project attributes to avoid?
Parades are nearly impossible to permit. Installations or objects over 10 feet in height or a stage greater than 200 SF require a building permit, which can be expensive and time consuming. The use of amplified sound is restricted and requires special set-ups or locations. Nothing can be sold, though voluntary donations may be solicited. The size of sponsor logos or acknowledgments must be modest in scale.
- What are the recommended time frames for installations?
Project installations or performance series should be relatively short. In the public plazas, one to three days is typical with an absolute maximum of 30 days. Murals on buildings or installations in private spaces can be longer in duration but more than 60 days is rare. Dates to avoid are the month of June and December.
- What is the Selection Process?
The Times Square Alliance has an Art Review Committee composed of curators, producers, district stakeholders and staff from the City of New York. Once a proposal from an artist or organization is recommended by the Committee and is determined to be generally feasible, the Alliance staff will enter a discussion to develop a detailed project with a scheduled presentation.
- What spaces do you have available for public art projects?
The Times Square Alliance owns or leases no public spaces (except for the Visitor’s Center). The Public Art Program partners with property owners and managers in the district, as well as the City of New York. Possible publicly accessible locations include the following:
- Broadway Plaza Spaces
- Duffy Square and Military Island
- Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) including Through-Block Arcades
- Construction Fences and Scaffolds
- Streetscape Elements including Planters, Benches, Light poles and Banners
- Mobile Electronics including Cell phones, Laptops, IPods and GPS devices
- Download MAP of Public Spaces in the Times Square District
Please note: Securing these locations depends on many factors besides our partnerships with the City of New York and property owners and managers in the district. Such factors including the nature and duration of the project, and when the project will be executed.
- Can I propose an art project for the red staircase of the TKTS booth?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. Please do consider the many other spaces in Times Square. Feel free to walk around the district and explore other options. Download MAP of Public Spaces in the Times Square District.
- After reading the Program Guidelines and our FAQs, do you have any additional questions?
If so, contact us here.