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February 16, 2024
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NYC DOT Issues Open Call for Public Art During Car-Free Earth Day

Car-Free Earth Day to return on Saturday, April 20, will bring car-free Open Streets to the five boroughs

NYC DOT issues open call for artists looking to install works to commemorate the annual event

A huge bouquet of flowers is setup in a pedestrian plaza during an earth day event;a colorful illustration with reduce, reuse and recycle information is displayed on a small sign on a streetlight pole in N Y C.
Examples of prior Car-Free Earth Day art installations across the city. Credit: NYC DOT

NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced today that the agency will be bringing back the city's annual environmental celebration, Car-Free Earth Day, on Saturday, April 20, with completely car-free Open Streets to come to the five boroughs. The agency also announced a call for up to three artists to contribute one-day public artworks or digital illustrations to be installed along to-be-announced car-free routes.

"We're calling on artists to help beautify our public spaces and deliver important messages to New Yorkers around climate change, sustainability, and how our transportation network can be advanced to support the health of our planet and each other," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "We look forward to hearing from artists on how they can creatively tell this story for Car-Free Earth Day 2024 and we encourage them to apply!"

The Call for Artists is available for download on NYC DOT's website. For more information, please visit the NYC DOT Art website.  

NYC DOT Art will select up to three (3) artists to create artwork to be installed at Car-Free Earth Day at sites designated by NYC DOT in either a one-day installation or digital illustrations for aluminum signage.

Selected artists for one-day installations shall be responsible for installing one final artwork on site, being available to meet to coordinate NYC DOT throughout project phases, being available to monitor artwork on the day of the event, providing a signed and sealed technical memo prepared by a NYS licensed engineer, and removing the installation after event completion.

Selected artists for digital illustrations for aluminum signage shall be responsible for completing conceptual designs and, once approved by NYC DOT Art, completing 10 to 15 final designs and providing NYC DOT with final digital design files. NYC DOT will print and install signs along event routes in all five boroughs.

Submissions must be submitted via e-mail no later than Monday, March 4th, 2023, at 11:59 PM EST to be considered. All submissions should be emailed to:

About Car-Free Earth Day

Car-Free Earth Day is an annual event hosted by NYC DOT to promote activism and education surrounding climate change, sustainability, and more sustainable modes of transportation. The event transforms NYC streets into active and attractive public spaces with the addition of public art, performances, workshops, and demonstrations. Environmental programming is offered by City agencies and nonprofit organizations along the routes to promote activism and education surrounding climate change, sustainability, and other relevant topics.

NYC DOT will have more information to share this spring on car-free event locations and programming. Last year, NYC DOT organized 30 car-free locations featuring cultural performances, fitness trainings, giveaways, and other educational activities.

About NYC DOT Art

The New York City Department of Transportation's Art Program (NYC DOT Art) partners with community-based, nonprofit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to 11 months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections and eye-catching sculptures. Sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas and pedestrianized spaces serve as canvases and foundations for temporary art. Since 2008, NYC DOT Art has produced nearly 450 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit, or follow @nyc_dotArt on Instagram.