About Creative Time

Creative Time was founded in 1974. Its history of commissioning, producing, and presenting adventurous public artworks of all disciplines began in the midst of a significant period, when artists were experimenting with new forms and media and their work moved into the public realm. At the same time, New York's citizens responded to the City's deterioration, prompted by the fiscal crisis. Creative Time derives its values from this historic impetus to foster artistic experimentation, enrich public space and the everyday experience, and forefront artists as key contributors to democratic society.

Creative Time's earliest programs invigorated vacant storefronts as well as neglected landmarks like the U.S. Customs House in Lower Manhattan. After gaining early renown for Art on the Beach (1978 – 1985), which fostered collaborations between visual artists, architects, and performing artists at the Battery Park City Landfill, Creative Time soon spread its programs throughout New York City. Presenting projects on billboards, landmark buildings, buses, deli cups, ATM machines, and the Internet, among numerous other venues, Creative Time broadened the definitions of both art and public space throughout the 1980s and 90s. In particular, Creative Time encouraged artists to address timely issues such as the AIDS pandemic, domestic violence, and racial inequality. More recently, Art in the Anchorage (1983 – 2001) drew thousands to the majestic chambers of the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, which housed annual exhibitions of emerging creative practices in art, music, theater, and fashion until its closure in 2001 due to national security concerns.

The roster of artists we have worked with since our inception reads like a “Who’s Who” of innovators in all disciplines of the late 20th Century. Vito Acconci, Doug Aitken, Laurie Anderson, Diller + Scofidio, David Byrne, Paul Chan, Jeremy Deller, Philip Glass, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cai Guo-Qiang, Fischli & Weiss, Spalding Gray, Red Grooms, Hans Haacke, Jim Hodges, Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Bill T. Jones, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Mike Nelson, Shirin Neshat, Nam June Paik, Steve Powers, Martin Puryear, Steve Reich, Alison Saar, Sonic Youth, Kim Sooja, Elizabeth Streb, Thomas Struth, Eve Sussman, and William Wegman are only some of over 1,400 artists and 300 projects Creative Time has had the honor to present.

From very visible, large-scale projects like Doug Aitken’s Sleepwalkers on MoMA, Art on the Beach, Jenny Holzer’s Xenon Projections on landmark buildings, Tribute in Light—the twin beacons that rose from Lower Manhattan, The Dreamland Artist Club in Coney Island, Art in the Anchorage, Playing the Building by David Byrne, and Light Cycle: Explosion Project for Central Park to the dozens of smaller-scale projects that take place in such public spaces as street corners, subway tunnels, storefronts, bars, billboards, television screens, and cyberspace, our programs provoke and entertain millions of New York City residents and visitors every year.

Creative Time also launched its national program in 2007 with Paul Chan’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans. This monumental project was followed by Democracy in America: The National Campaign and, most recently, Jeremy Deller’s It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq, both taking place in several cities throughout the US.

We work with the belief that art moves society forward and that artists can be positive catalysts for change. We encourage artists to use their voices to address cultural as well as social issues. We champion the inalienable right to free expression as we promote the fact that artists are legitimate, productive, and valuable contributors to the world at large.