DRAW NYC gives people access to high-quality art materials and a place to draw together in public. Program elements:

  • A custom-designed cart that rolls into place and unfolds to reveal materials, drawing boards, and benches for seating;
  • High-quality art materials, including paper, pencils, charcoal;
  • Drawing prompts contributed by artists, illustrators, and authors, including: Lynda Barry, Becky Cooper, Andy Deck, Yifat Gat, Melissa Guion, Afzul Hossain, Nicole Law, Matteo Pericoli, Jessica Solomon, Bob Staake, Sarah Sze, and Rachel Urkowitz;
  • Artists-in-residence, who receive a stipend and materials in exchange for working alongside the public and providing inspiration;
  • Teaching Artists and visiting artists, who lead special activities;
  • Communal portfolio of drawings by New Yorkers;
  • Staff, volunteers, and educators to facilitate.

We offer drawing at parks, plazas, playstreets, and public spaces across NYC. Right now, we’re launching an effort to bring the program to NYC street festivals, and you can help make it happen!  Learn more.

Help bring drawing to 2018 Street Festivals in New York City!


  • We need to raise $10K by June 30, 2018. Progress: 63%

Other ways to get involved:

  • Student artists: apply to be a 2018 Artist in Residence.
  • Artists, illustrators, educators: share a prompt that will inspire New Yorkers to draw.
  • Contact Leslie Davol to bring DRAW NYC to your community.

From our Artists in Residence:

“I felt like some moments could change something, maybe one moment could change someone’s life.”

— 2017 AIR Luyi Wang

“What I enjoyed most were the personal interactions I had..Being an AIR strengthened my desire to take a more active role as an artist in my community, and to engage with the public more as an artist and art educator.”

— 2015 AIR Susan Coyne

“Most of all, I appreciated the opportunity to connect with members of so many different communities in NYC through art, rather than producing work as an anonymous observer.”

— 2015 AIR Genevieve Irwin

2018 Sponsors:

Lisa Brown &
Daniel Handler

Become a sponsor!


2018 Supporters:

DRAW NYC is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

DRAW NYC is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Materials donated by:

Blick Art Materials has generously donated high-quality art materials to DRAW NYC since 2015.

Blog posts about DRAW NYC:

DRAW on Woodside Ave in Queens

On Saturday, April 28, the Uni Project deployed our DRAW program to Songkran Weekend Walk in Elmhurst, Queens, hosted by the Thai Community USA NYC. Thanks to our partner NYC DOT, and to Blick for a third year of art materials! DRAW is made possible at Weekend Walks...

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Help us bring drawing to NYC street festivals!

Our 2018 season is getting underway, and you can help us add something special—drawing at street festivals. Here’s the backstory: neighborhood groups have begun asking permission from NYC Department of Transportation to close local streets on weekends so...

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READ and DRAW at Park Ave and East 104th St

Today, we landed at “Party on Park”, a street festival hosted by our friends at New Harlem East Merchants Association (NHEMA). We offered a reading room and a taste of our DRAW program as well. Special thanks to Blick Art Materials for joining us on the street. These...

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The Uni at the Central Park Zoo with The Drawing Center

Every Saturday in May, the Uni DRAW cart will transformed into a field station of the Department of Tropical Research at the Central Park Zoo, where visitors can draw from specimens and learn how ecologist William Beebe and his team of scientists worked with...

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Uni READ, DRAW, SOLVE at Jennings Play Street in Bronx

This summer, we are once again deploying to play streets in Harlem and the Bronx. Today, I worked one of our favorites, run by Caldwell Programs in Morrisania. I hung out, and took some photos, let the kids take photos, and gathered feedback for our new...

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The working prototype cart and drawing boards for DRAW NYC was funded by a grant from Burning Man. The cart design was adapted from designs made for the Uni Project by Höweler + Yoon Architecture for our READ program. Fabricator is Bill Bancroft of Essex, MA. Program development assistance by Ariana Austin of French Thomas Creative. Thanks to artist Deb Putnoi for first bringing drawing to the Uni in 2011.

Founding Sponsors:

Fabiola Salmán

Betty Chen &
Peter Coombe

Laura & Robert

Romy &
David Cohen

Karen & Dan

Evgenia Peretz

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