Messages for the City: Dreaming Forward

Messages for the City: Dreaming Forward

Times Square Arts and For Freedoms are joining forces once more to present artists’ messages in Times Square. In Messages for the City: Dreaming Forward, eight artists invite reflection on our collective futures. Sadie BarnetteBMikeJun MabuchiSofía Gallisá MurienteJon SantosHank Willis ThomasAmelia Winger-BearskinAlisha B. Wormsley For Freedoms

This new iteration of the collaborative public art campaign Messages for the City calls together that has been featured in For Freedoms’ nationwide 50 States Initiative and 2020 Awakening campaigns. United now in Times Square, they are meditative declarations and interrogations that remind us to pause, reflect, and ready ourselves for work that lies ahead. All messages speak to the respective artist’s desires and intentions for the future — they consider love, freedom, coexistence, and inclusive representation. They serve as prompts for the continued responsibility we share in shaping our world — collectively.

As a year full of unprecedented challenges comes to a close and a new one begins, Messages for the City continues its promise of amplifying artist voices and broadcasting them directly to the public. This campaign began at the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when Times Square Arts, together with For Freedoms, Poster House, and Print Magazine, invited artists to create public service announcements and messages of solidarity and gratitude to New Yorkers across the city. At the time, images of an empty Times Square had become emblematic of how swiftly public life shifted. Now months later, amidst concurrent crises brought on by racial injustices and a contentious U.S. presidential election, Times Square and many of our communities have returned to public spaces as sites of protest, political action, and creative expression. Dreaming Forward speaks directly to the concerns of the current moment and invites us to envision a more equitable future through the eyes of these artists.

Look out for the Dreaming Forward messages on the Big Belly receptasigns in over 120 locations across the Times Square district.

Find out more about these works and the original public campaigns in which they were presented by checking out the For Freedoms 2020 Awakening Campaign and the media platform Unfinished.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way by Sadie Barnette
We Are Our Ancestors' Wildest Dreams by BMike
Can we coexist? by Jun Mabuchi
Imaginamos la libertad? by Sofia Gallisa Muriente
The End of the World or the Beginning of the Next by Jon Santos
Who Taught You To Love? by Hank Willis Thomas
What Is Made Bright by the Loss of Your Light? by Amelia Winger-Bearskin
There Are Black People in the Future by Alisha Wormsley


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

More in Art

Fotografiska New York Hip-Hop Conscious, Unconscious

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 30, 2023

Now Is The Perfect Time To Visit The National Jazz Museum With Disney/Pixar and Soul

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 29, 2023

MTC’s The Collaboration Makes Disposable Sellable Art for Consumption

RossJanuary 28, 2023

Submissions Open For The Flag Project 2023 at Rockefeller Center

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 28, 2023

Artist Shahzia Sikander Brings Art To Madison Square Park and To The Supreme Court of the State of New York

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 26, 2023

February’s Events Warm Your Heart

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 22, 2023

Davis McCarty’s Pulse Portal Puts Rainbows Into Your Imagination

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 22, 2023

Living Lantern Makes the Garment District Shine

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 22, 2023

Midnight Moment in February Presents Squanderlust

Suzanna BowlingJanuary 19, 2023