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City Announces Winners of “Call for Student and Community Art” for East Side Coastal Resiliency

Art from 33 Students and Seven Local Artists Selected for Display Throughout ESCR

DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251,

(New York, NY – June 22, 2022) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley joined Council Member Keith Powers, Council Member Carlina Rivera, students and local artists today at Asser Levy Playground to announce that 40 pieces of artwork have been selected 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.

art on fence

Art from 33 students and seven local artists have been selected for display on the fencing throughout the East Side Coastal Resiliency project site

Over 200 NYC students from kindergarten to 12th grade, plus local artists, responded to the “Call for Art” with pieces based on themes varying by grade level. The artwork was judged by representatives from local community organizations including Community Board 6, Abrons Art Center, FABnyc, Good Old Lower East Side, Inc. (GOLES), Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc. (LEAP) and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Each piece was rated on the responsiveness to the theme, creativity, originality, artistic quality, composition, visual impact and overall impression.

Selected pieces have been reproduced on 12-feet by 5-feet vinyl banners and are on display throughout the East Side Coastal Resiliency area. Students whose works have been selected for display will receive a $300 award while local artists will receive $1,000. All students who submitted their artwork will also receive a Certificate of Participation.

“We are very proud of all the participants who submitted art representing themes of community and resilience,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “Art is way creative way to bring the community together to think about the importance of building for the future, why we must focus on climate change and how to best implement resiliency measures where needed.”

“Public artwork is such a strong force of good in New York City,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “This fantastic ‘Call for Art’ encourages students and local artists to make works that support environmental resiliency and sustainability. I’m excited to see all the artwork, and greatly look forward to a creative, bright fencing surrounding the East Side Coastal Resiliency project.”

“I am delighted and honored to see these amazing works of art and such deep engagement from so many students in my district,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “Climate change is a reality our students face as they look toward their future. Our commitment to taking immediate, meaningful action to address climate and resiliency is essential to ensure future generations can call New York City home.”

“Students at NEST+m were very excited at the thought of their artwork being shown in our own community and especially to showcase the culture, pulse, and unique offerings of Lower East Side and all that it has to offer,” said NEST+m K-5 Art Education Teacher Chrissy Morgera. “I’m so glad I heard about this wonderful ‘Call for Art’ to help my students re-focus on all the good that is left in our neighborhood- especially after another tough year of teaching in a pandemic.”

group photo

(left to right) NYC DDC First Deputy Commissioner Eric Macfarlane, Commissioner Thomas Foley, Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis, Council Member Carlina Rivera and students gathered at Asser Levy Playground to announce that 40 pieces of artwork have been selected for display on the fencing surrounding the East Side Coastal Resiliency project

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?

The 33 selected students were from a total of nine schools including NEST+m, The Children’s Workshop School, Salk School of Science (M.S. 255), LearningSpringSchool, St. Stephen of Hungary School, New Utrecht High School, Winston Preparatory School, East Side Community School and the Friends Seminary. The selected art can be viewed here.

ESCR is a $1.45 billion climate resiliency project that will provide 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 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 February 2022, DDC announced the installation of the first 16-ton movable flood gate.

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 Adams’ 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