City Canvas

City Canvas

There are more than 300 miles of construction fences and sidewalk sheds that dot New York City neighborhoods. While these temporary protective structures are part of the urban landscape, in most instances they are unappealing and represent the inconvenience of construction projects.

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), in collaboration with the New York City Department of Buildings and the Office of the Mayor, has announced City Canvas, a 24-month pilot designed to allow the installation of temporary visual art on eligible sidewalk sheds and construction fences.

Specifically, the goals of the pilot are to:

  • Improve the pedestrian experience for NYC residents and visitors across the five boroughs by transforming temporary protective structures into sites for the display of art; and
  • Increase opportunities for cultural organizations and artists to present artworks that are relevant to the communities surrounding the installation sites.

In September 2018, DCLA issued a call for applications to identify one (1) or more qualified not-for-profit cultural organization(s) to implement the pilot. Organizations must have submitted an eligible FY19 Cultural Development Fund (CDF) application or be a member of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) to be considered.

Read the September 2018 announcement of the City Canvas open call.

For answers to frequently asked questions regarding the pilot, download the Q&A.

Any questions related to the pilot may be submitted to

News and Updates

DCLA, in partnership with the NYC Department of Buildings and the NYC Mayor's Office, is excited to announce two cultural organizations selected for the City Canvas pilot. ArtBridge and Studio Museum in Harlem will each work with local communities to transform protective construction structures into spaces for temporary art installations. First installations are anticipated in Spring 2019.
Posted November 28, 2018