Starting today, be on the lookout for messages or pride and gratitude for New York’s essential workers on 1,800 of New York City’s digital billboards. The images will be graphically interesting, as this effort is a collaboration between Poster House, one of our museum partners, and Times Square Arts. The project will take over Times Square, but also get to all five boroughs through the 1,774 LinkNYC kiosks on the city’s streets and the Silvercast billboards above the Lincoln Tunnel. All the digital spaces have been donated.

Digital PSA Billboard art Individual graphics courtesy Times Square Arts and Poster House.

There will be two phases to the campaign, the first showcasing graphic designers brought together by Print Magazine in collaboration with Poster House, and then secondly showcasing contemporary artist work in a collaboration between Times Square Arts and For Freedoms.

Digital Billboard PSA by Edel RodrieguezDigital Billboard PSA by Ola Edel Rodrieguez. Graphic courtesy Times Square Arts and Poster House.

New York City may have followed Europe and other regions around the world both in terms of battling the coronavirus and the grassroots efforts to collectively cheer on the city’s workers like the 7 AM Clap Like You Care, but once New York City gets behind something, the full creative force of its residents and rich cultural institutions becomes clear. Just in the last day, there was the citywide sing-a-long to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, the #SoundtheHorn initiative with the region’s transportation networks, and the return of #LightItBlue, with Rockefeller Center joining in this week.

Digital Billboard PSA by Ola BaldychDigital PSA by Ola Baldych. Graphic courtesy Times Square Arts and Poster House.

The widespread geographical reach of this campaign is important, as many of the initiatives so far have been time-specific and short lasting, though repeating. According to Times Square Arts, “this campaign will reach New Yorkers on their essential outings, and especially those on the front line of the crisis — doctors and nurses, public transportation personnel, grocery store employees, delivery staff, and restaurant workers, and more — whose work is sustaining the city.”

Digital Billboard PSA by Matt DorfmanDigital Billboard PSA by Matt Dorfman. Graphic courtesy Times Square Arts and Poster House.

Jean Cooney, Times Square Arts Director said, “This citywide PSA campaign is an incredible opportunity for artists to communicate the pride and overwhelming gratitude we all feel for our health care and essential workers here in Times Square and across all five boroughs of New York” and Times Square Alliance President said, “As it has so often in the past during moments of crisis or celebration, Times Square will channel the spirit of the city to the country and to the world.”

Love in the Time of Corona Digital Billboard PSA by Maira KalmanPhoto by Ian Douglas courtesy Times Square Arts

Next, check out last night’s  citywide sing-a-long to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, and the #SoundtheHorn initiative with the region’s transportation networks.