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'Mark This Town' Hits NYC Sidewalks With Collaborative Stenciling

We, Meghana and Mini, are two graduate students at the Interaction Design program at School of Visual Arts. We’ve launched the collaborative...

We, Meghana and Mini, are two graduate students at the Interaction Design program at School of Visual Arts. We’ve launched the collaborative civic art project, Mark This Town, to explore the value of self expression in urban environments.

Cities, especially New York, can be full of commotion. People are busy with their routines. But there is something in the New York spirit that inspires people to stop for musicians in a subway, performance art on a street corner, and flash mobs in parks. Pausing to appreciate even the smaller moments—a clever sticker in the subway, or an inspiring quote on the wall of a building—makes our day.

Mark This Town creates collaborative street art with you, and New York City. You send us an inspiring message online, then we spread them around New York City, using stencils, combined with natural and sustainable materials. Together, we create special moments of pause for New Yorkers.

Our vision is to take a stance on local issues. April 7-13 was Anti Street Harassment week and we wanted to bring light to issues related to street harassment by marking relevant statements from New Yorkers onto sidewalks. We used sustainable materials to mark these statements in Washington Square Park on Saturday, April 13th. By spending time in Washington Square Park, we were able to see how to position statements for more visibility, and had great conversations with people who interacted with our statements. We would love to continue to participate in local issues and get your messages out in the city.

Here’s how it works. You submit your statements on our website. These statements can be something you believe in, or something you want to communicate to New York. Every month we will also prompt you with a theme. At the end of each week, we pick one statement to mark on the street. The person who submitted the chosen statement will receive the original stencil and photograph of the final work.

In the future, we would like to create a platform for people to vote for the message they want to see marked that week. This crowdsourced input will highlight what is important to people at that given time. We aim to create a community that cares about their surroundings. Come join us in marking your town. Submit your message on Neighborday.


This project was featured in GOOD's Saturday series Push for Good—our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.

Hang out with your neighbors on the last Saturday of April (a day we're calling "Neighborday"). Click here to say you'll Do It, and here to download GOOD's Neighborday Toolkit and a bunch of other fun stuff.

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