Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York

News and Press Releases

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2017

Contact:, 212-513-9323 (Cultural Affairs)


Expressions of interest from artists and design teams are due Earth Day, April 22

New York – The City has launched an open call for artists to design a temporary art installation in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn exploring the impact of climate change on this coastal community. The selected artist or design team will engage local youth in the design process, tapping into community-specific knowledge to imagine the future of this vibrant neighborhood. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Carlos Menchaca announced the project on the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy in October 2016.

“We are excited to collaborate with the Red Hook community on this groundbreaking public art project to engage residents in building resiliency to climate challenges in a new way,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “Adapting to climate change requires thinking beyond technical solutions, and community-driven art is a powerful way to engage and empower the next generation in thinking creatively about how to envision the future of their neighborhood.”

“The commemoration of hurricane Sandy with a $20,000 grant for public art is an opportunity for Red Hook artists and residents to focus on climate change and resilience,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “The public, collaborative process to choose a project will have a special emphasis on youth participation. With the request for artist submissions now open online, I look forward to the possibilities our neighborhood will create.”

“This exciting opportunity will give the Red Hook community a chance to join together and collaborate with a professional artist to envision their future in the face of a changing climate,” said Percent for Art Director Kendal Henry. “We encourage artists from all disciplines and backgrounds to consider this chance to work collaboratively with residents on an innovative, one-of-a-kind project in this iconic Brooklyn neighborhood.”

The Red Hook neighborhood saw unprecedented flooding during Hurricane Sandy, which took a heavy toll on its residents and businesses. On the fourth anniversary of Sandy in 2016, Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Menchaca announced a $20,000 grant for this temporary commission to commemorate the anniversary to inform and engage residents about the continuing challenges posed by climate change.

Process and Next Steps

Interested artists should review the full Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI, available here). Local artists are especially encouraged to apply. Once the open call closes on Earth Day, April 22, the Department of Cultural Affairs will convene an advisory committee of local arts organizations, community representatives, youth representatives, and city agency partners to review applications. The community will be able to vote to select at least five finalists at a public meeting in late spring. The selected work will have an anticipated installation date in late summer 2017.

Artists are encouraged to consider some or all of the following goals for the Red Hook public art project:
•    Addresses climate change and sea level rise
•    Engages youth in the design or creative process
•    Educates and inspires residents of Red Hook and the city in era of vast climate change challenges
•    Invites social interaction and shared experience
•    Resonates with people of diverse backgrounds, both within the neighborhood and beyond
•    Is durable and requires little or no maintenance
•    Must be located in an area that is accessible to the public

Potential locations include:
•    Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier (art work cannot be in the water or secured to the pier due to regulatory restrictions, but can sit on the pier)
•    Coffey Park
•    Open concrete area on Halleck and Columbia Street
•    Department of Transportation sites (street medians, triangles)
•    Other privately owned spaces that are open to the public

This project is part of the City’s broader education efforts around climate change and sea level rise, which include the recently launched campaign to educate New Yorkers on their flood risk.