← Back to the blog
Art ignites dialogue

Our new initiative currently in development

Dialogues on Race is a nationwide public art and design initiative that empowers teams – comprised of individuals who have knowledge and experience around issues of race and social justice, in combination with a designer or artist – to create public murals, billboards, banners and transit posters. The artwork will address themes connected to one of the most pressing issues of our time in compelling and thought-provoking ways.

Dialogues on Race aims to advance racial justice through media, dialogue and practice. Our goal is to produce an initiative that informs, teaches and builds relationships, and strengthens the multi-racial and multi-ethnic fabric of our communities.

Two-member teams will consist of a voice from the community (this could be an expert in social justice or an activist, it could be a high-school student, a police officer or a religious leader). These individuals will be paired with a local artist or designer to collaborate on a powerful visual statement that addresses race in America.

The artwork is not a means to an end, it is just the beginning. It will serve as a platform on which to build localized, community-specific events, as well as programing and educational outreach activities to ignite a public dialogue around the issues and concerns being addressed. Community engagement will include the facilitation of high-school and college student mentoring collaborations with creative professionals along with an open-source interactive website.

New York City 2017

An iteration of the project in New York will feature ten teams, each composed of a high-profile artist or designer and a member of an organization that addresses issues of race and social justice, or a member of the community who has had experience, positive or negative, around the issue. The project is being developed with support from the New York City Department of Transportation. We are currently seeking a major funding partner along with non-profits and experts in the field of social justice.

The project so far

The project was conceived and launched in Dallas in the fall of 2014 by Make Art with Purpose (MAP). In the spring of 2015, Worldstudio and MAP executed an iteration of the project with New York Art and Design High School students who were participating in the AIGA NY Mentoring Program. This past summer, Dialogues on Race partnered with the noted youth photography mentoring program, First Exposures in San Francisco. Thirty students worked with designers and photographers to create posters on the theme which will be displayed on an electronic billboard on Fisherman’s Wharf for one month starting in late December 2016.

Top of this post: Billboard from the project in San Francisco, designed by the First Exposures summer youth group, Triple Double Trouble. Above: A billboard from the project in Dallas, designed by Thania Dominguez – McElroy and Jin-Ya Huang

MAP founder, Janeil Engelstad, leading a project workshop for students from the High School of Art & Design and the AIGA NY Chapter mentoring program,

MAP founder, Janeil Engelstad, leading a project workshop for students from the New York High School of Art and Design and the AIGA NY Mentoring Program.

Posters from the AIGA NY Chapter Mentoring Program.

Posters from the AIGA NY Mentoring Program.


A mentee and mentor from the AIGA NY Mentoring Program.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Reach out to us to learn more: Mark Randall at: mrandall(at)worldstudioinc.com

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Funded with generous support from:  Embrey Family Foundation, Exposure NY, Design Ignites Change and the Make Art with Purpose Community Engagement Fund.
In-kind support provided by: AIGA NY, Clear Channel Outdoor, First Exposures, Outfront Media and Shillington School of Graphic Design