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Submit your poster idea for Make Music New York!


Make Music New York, a unique, free outdoor celebration called “the largest music event ever to grace Gotham” (Metro New York), is now accepting proposals for a visual identity and urban intervention for this yearʼs festival, taking place on Sunday, June 21, 2009.

Over the last two years, Parsons students have designed the festivalʼs logo, websites, posters, and advertisements, appearing in Time Out New York, Metro New York, amNewYork, Filter Magazine, and more. This year, we are asking not only for designs to use in the media, but also for a related urban intervention, existing alongside the musicians on June 21st, who will perform on the streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas, and cemeteries of New York.

Please submit very short proposals, of no more than 2 pages (in PDF format), to makemusicny@gmail.com by April 15th. Proposals should have two parts: (1) a sketch of a poster design, and (2) a description of an urban intervention, to take place at a large number of concert locations on June 21st. There is no limit to the number of proposals you can submit.

Shortly after April 15th, the Make Music New York board of directors will choose the most promising proposal, and ask the designer to complete the poster design (by May 15th), and implement the urban intervention (by June 21st).  The chosen designer will receive recognition in our e-newsletter, press release, and websites, credit on the poster, and a check for $350.

• All concerts take place outdoors, at 400+ locations throughout NYC on Sunday, June 21st — the first day of summer. Most musicians perform on sidewalks; many perform in parks; some close off streets.
• Every genre of music is represented, performed by amateurs and professionals of all ages. Last year there were 875 performances by NY Philharmonic musicians, high school rock bands, circuit benders, Beijing Opera companies, big bands, punk bands, bluegrass bands, and more.
• The spirit of the event is free and spontaneous, much like Halloween. Instead of stages with high production values, people just show up and play. See photos at www.makemusicny.org.


• Metro New York will print 50,000 copies of a 4-color, 15″ x 22″ poster on newsprint, and include it in the concert listings as a centerfold.
• Musicians / locations should be able to personalize the poster to promote their concerts — please leave a blank section that can be filled with individual information (see example above–made by Parsons Illustration student Jay Moreno and Nicole Fowler).
• Posters should not lead audiences to expect a particular genre of music. They should be equally suited to classical music, punk rock, jazz, hip hop, etc.
• Posters should have some clear connection with the proposed urban intervention.

• The intervention should be absurdly cheap.
• It should be present at a large number of MMNY concerts, in both street/sidewalk and park spaces, and should improve the festival experience in some way.
• The intervention should relate to the poster, and tie the various MMNY concerts together visually.
• The intervention can be consistently implemented. (For example, Carlʼs Carpet Warehouse donates 3,000 square feet of red carpet; each musician picks up a piece of carpet on June 20th and uses it as a “stage” on June 21st.) Or it can be a consistent concept, implemented in different ways. (For example, artists in each neighborhood design and weave carpets for their local musicians, with a different color scheme in each borough.) In either case, describe who will carry out the project, and how.
• The intervention should be legal. If youʼre not sure, submit it anyway, along with a backup proposal. Emily Colasacco from the NYC Department of Transportation will go over all submissions and ensure compliance with NYC regulations.

Questions? Email Aaron Friedman at aaron@makemusicny.org.

Good luck!

[Note: Make Music New York pigeon logo by Parsons Illustration student Danielle MacIndoe!]

Information session for Make Music New York 2009

Make Music New York is a music festival like no other. Taking place on a single day, June 21st, last year’s event featured over 3,200 musicians giving 870 free musical performances in every genre, on streets, sidewalks, and parks throughout the City. Performances included 69 punk bands on Governors Island, a NYC Opera and NY Philharmonic block party, Roberta Flack singing with middle school students in Central Park, Bollywood Karaoke, and hundreds more.

Everything is free. Everything is outdoors. Anyone can sign up to make music.

For the last two years, Parsons students have designed the Make Music posters and programs (printed by Metro New York and amNewYork newspapers), the visual elements for Time Out New York’s dedicated MMNY website, and fliers and postcards for some individual concerts. This year, they’re looking for more than just new designs — they want proposals for radically new ways of promoting the event, that fit its outdoor, do-it-yourself, absurdly cheap spirit.

Aaron Friedman, creator and organizer of the festival, will be coming to Parsons next week to present this year’s project, and to show examples of the kinds of design interventions they’re looking for.

Thursday, October 2nd
2 p.m.
Illustration Library
Room 805, 2 W. 13th

We hope to see you all there. This is a tremendous opportunity for innovation, creativity, and publicity!

[Image created by Danielle MacIndoe]