We recommend that everyone who wishes to submit a proposal should experience a Midnight Moment prior to submittal. The program runs every night from 11:57pm-midnight with the exception of New Year’s Eve, on participating Times Square Electronic Billboards from 41st–49th Streets between Broadway and 7th Aves. The best locations to view Midnight Moment are on Duffy Square (at 46th and Broadway) or the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets.
Open applications for the Midnight Moment program are accepted through the online Slideroom portal linked to at the bottom of this page. Submissions for March 2020 and beyond are due on October 16, 2019.
Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards and Newspaper Kiosks throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts since 2012, it has an estimated annual viewership of 2.5 million.
The Times Square Alliance works to improve and promote Times Square - cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century.
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, is the largest public platform for innovative contemporary performance and visual arts. With 312,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, it is one of the highest profile public arts programs and since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of more than five dozen prominent and emerging artists.
Times Square Advertising Coalition represents the key branding, marketing and advertising stakeholders in New York City's Times Square. The Association works to ensure that Times Square remains the most colorful and vibrant commercial corridor on earth, guaranteeing optimal brand exposure and excitement for its media partners.
The Midnight Moment Selection Committee is comprised of experts from the worlds of moving image art and digital advertising, and is facilitated by Times Square Arts to review Midnight Moment proposals and select content for programming.
The Midnight Moment Selection Committee seeks proposals that meet these criteria:
Content must be original works of moving-image art.
- Submissions that fail to meet these criteria are frequently composed of/from still images or documentation of live performance.
Content must be appropriate for programming in a public space.
- The work should be able to communicate to the incredibly diverse population of Times Square visitors and passersby.
- Content cannot include any nudity, sex, drugs, violence, religious iconography, overtly political messaging, expletives, etc.
- Content cannot be construable as an advertisement for anything, and should include no logos.
- Proposed works should be submitted in their final form (at 170 seconds), not as a work-in-progress.
- Content should present well at a large scale and cropped in various aspect ratios, as it would be exhibited on electronic billboards of Times Square.
- World or New York City premieres are valued, although re-imaginings of historical works are also considered.
- Submissions may be proposed in partnership with other cultural institutions and/or to coincide with concurrent artist exhibitions, performances, etc.
- Times Square Arts values equity and diversity in the breadth of artists, traditions, subjects, ideas and approaches represented in the Midnight Moment program.
- The Artist (or proposing organization) must be the owner of the work and is responsible for all licenses.
When proposing works, the Artist (or proposing organization) should consider Times Square Arts' Core Values:
- Collaborative - All the work of Times Square Arts is the product of collaboration - between the Arts Program and artists, cultural institutions, businesses, non-profits and the leadership and agencies of New York City government. The residents and visitors of Times Square are collaborators as well, because without them the artwork cannot come to life.
- Responsive to place - All of Times Square Arts' projects respond to Times Square's uniqueness as a place - its physical characteristics (technology, scale, etc.), its diversity and concentration of people, and its multi-faceted role in the popular imagination. By definition, therefore, the work is site-specific and could not happen elsewhere.
- Boundary-pushing - Times Square is a place where risks are taken and boundaries are pushed. In this spirit, the Arts Program asks artists and cultural organizations to stretch themselves and the audience, so that everyone experiences something new.
- Conversational - Times Square Arts creates the conditions for conversations to happen - between the artist and the space, the artwork and the audience, and passersby with one another. Conversations create social capital and connect us to each other; they are also essential to the creative process.
- Transparent - The process of artistic creation can be as rich and exciting as the artistic product itself, and yet it is something that most audiences rarely get to experience. The Arts Program is committed to engaging people in new ways by making the creative process transparent - for Alliance stakeholders, partners, and audiences.
Technical Specifications for Submissions:
- Single Channel vs. Multichannel
- Two edits: 170 seconds and 150 seconds
- Two aspect ratios: Horizontal and Vertical
- No Credits
Silent: Midnight Moment is a silent exhibition program. Submitted projects are welcome to include sound, and the program has and will continue to experiment with various strategies for providing sound to the public on a case-by-case basis, but the content must be fully successful without audio.
Single vs. Multichannel: The Midnight Moment program can accommodate both single and multi-channel works, although single-channel works are recommended. If the work is created specifically for multi-channel viewing, we highly recommend that all channels have a clear visual relationship to each other to be legible as a single work across all participating electronic billboards in the oversaturated media environment of Times Square.
Two edits: 170 seconds and 150 seconds
Midnight Moment plays in two different time edits on various participating electronic billboards: 170 seconds (2:50), and 150 seconds (2:30). Submissions must consider and work in both edits. Our recommendation is that the full arc of the work (whatever that may be) exist within the first 150 seconds, and that the additional 20 seconds in the longer edit be considered an epilogue or continuation.
All submissions must include a 170 second edit, and most artists will submit only that edit, with the understanding that it will be cut at 150 seconds for some screens. Other artists will submit both a 150 second and a 170 second edit – this is most frequently the case when the work employs a closing effect (e.g. a fade to black) that the artist wants to include in both edits.
Two aspect ratios: Horizontal and Vertical
There is great diversity in the aspect ratios of the electronic billboards that participate in the exhibition, and the program uses a private firm to format and deliver content for each of the screens. We typically work with artists on submitting to that firm to master formattings of the work, horizontal and vertical.
Submissions must include a horizontal (1920 x 1080 or larger) formatting, and will ideally for resolution and for re-framing purposes also include a vertical (1176 x 1464) formatting of the work.
- Mandatory: Horizontal 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixels (or larger)
- Optional: Vertical, 1176 x 1464 pixels
No Credits: Works should not include any titles, artist name or any other credits. Times Square Arts appends credit slides to the end of the 150 second edit of works selected for programming, in accordance with a program-specific format and with spelling approved by the artist and partners (if any). The program-specific content and format for the end credit slide is unalterable and includes only:
Year of work
Partner (if any)
Additional crediting is possible on our webpage per discussion with selected artists and partners.
Resolution: Works should be submitted in HD if possible. Artists whose work is selected for programming will be given separate instructions for delivering final files in the highest resolution possible.
Synchronization: The Midnight Moment program is synchronized on multiple electronic billboards from 41st to 49th Streets, but please note that because each billboard is independently operated, the synchronization is not perfect.
Files to Attach to Proposal Application:
- Mandatory Video: Horizontal Formatting (170 seconds)
- Mandatory Images: 1-3 still images representing the film/video submitted. Images must be 18"x24" at 300dpi, JPG or TIFF (no text or logos over image)
- Horizontal Formatting (150 seconds)
- Vertical formatting (170 seconds)
- Vertical formatting (150 seconds)
- Additional channels
How to Apply:
Open Applications for the Midnight Moment program are accepted through the online Slideroom portal here.