Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

City Makes “Call for Student and Community Art” for East Side Coastal Resiliency

Students and Local Artists Encouraged to Submit Original Works; Awards Available

DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251,

(New York, NY – August 23, 2021) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) today announced a “Call for Art” for students and local artists to submit artwork for display on the fencing surrounding the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) coastal protection project that is now under construction on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

construction fencing

Construction fencing at Asser Levy Playground, students whose works are selected for display will receive a $300 award while local artists will receive $1,000

Students from kindergarten to 12th grade, plus artists, that reside within the five boroughs are welcome to respond to this “Call for Art” with pieces based on the themes listed below. Artwork will be judged by representatives from local community organizations and members of Manhattan Community Boards 3 and 6 based on creativity and responsiveness to the theme.

This “Call for Art” is limited to one entry per person. Selected pieces will be reproduced on a 12-feet long by 5-feet high vinyl banner and installed on construction fencing around the East Side Coastal Resiliency project site. Students whose works are selected for display will receive a $300 award while local artists will receive $1,000. All students who submit their artwork will receive a Certificate of Participation.

“Art brings people together and can welcome and inspire,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Public Art Deputy Director Xenia Diente. “This ‘Call for Art’ encourages youth and local artists to think creatively about climate change and about resiliency in the face of sea level rise and the threat of increased storms. We anticipate a wide range of creative entries.”

“The arts empower our students to draw strength from their communities and harness their creativity and imagination when thinking about the challenges facing our world,” said NYC Department of Education Office of Arts & Special Projects Executive Director Maria Palma. “The City’s ‘Call for Art’ will enable student artists to share their vision, strength, and resilience as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. We can’t wait to see their creations.”

construction fencing

Artist Nami Yamamoto’s work adorns the fencing surrounding the reconstruction of Myrtle Avenue Plaza in Brooklyn in 2019
Artwork Themes:
  • Grades K–4 – Share something special about your neighborhood and/or community.
  • Grades 5-8 – Resilience means the ability to bounce back from environmental threats like hurricanes. Why do we need resilience in NYC?
  • Grades 9-12 and Local Artists – What is your vision of NYC as a resilient city? [or] How can NYC adapt to climate change and rising seas?

Submissions must be received by October 15 for consideration (deadline extended from September 30). Art should be designed to be installed on a flat surface and each piece must be original to the student or artist with no copyrighted images. Submitted artwork is recommended to be no smaller than 11-inches high and 17-inches wide as it will be enlarged to 61-inches high by 144-inches wide for installation.

Students or artists may submit entries digitally through the submission portal or in person at Seward Park Library or Tompkins Square Library with a completed submission form attached. Library hours and locations are available on the New York Public Library’s website.

More information is available here. Students or artists can submit questions about this “Call for Art” through the East Side Coastal Resiliency website here.

ESCR is a $1.45 billion climate resiliency project that will bolster flood protection and improve open spaces for more than 110,000 New Yorkers – including 28,000 public housing residents – on Manhattan’s East Side, from East 25th Street south to Montgomery Street. These neighborhoods, which were pummeled by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, will now be home to one of the most ambitious infrastructure and climate justice projects in New York City history. The project is being managed by the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

In addition to protecting New Yorkers from coastal storms and sea level rise, ESCR will also dramatically improve local parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities. The project involves significant upgrades to public open spaces and amenities, including improved waterfront access through reconstructed bridges and entry points. It will also upgrade existing sewer systems to capture and manage precipitation during storms.

Construction of ESCR began at Asser Levy Playground on East 25th Street and in the north end of Stuyvesant Cove Park in November 2020. In April 2021, Mayor de Blasio announced the beginning of major construction activities on the project when crews began installing piles in Stuyvesant Cove Park.


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit