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Release Date: Dec 18, 2012

COME TOGETHER AND SING JOHN LENNON’S “IMAGINE” WHILE YOKO ONO’S FILM IMAGINE PEACE PLAYS ON BILLBOARDS IN THE CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD

12.21.12 at 11:57 p.m., Duffy Square, Broadway between 46th & 47th Streets, Times Square, New York

New York, NY - December 18, 2012—Come together in the Crossroads of the World to celebrate peace on 12.21.12 at 11:57 p.m. and sing John Lennon’s legendary song “IMAGINE” while Yoko Ono’s film IMAGINE PEACE plays on Times Square’s monumental billboards.

The happening is a collaboration between Yoko Ono, Times Square Arts (the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance), Art Production Fund, and Make Music New York. The event builds on the existing partnership of Times Square Arts and the Times Square Advertising Coalition in the nightly program of coordinated art on the digital screens, known as the Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery.

To join the happening, all are invited to meet at the “Red Steps” in Duffy Square, Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets, on Friday, December 21, at 11:45 p.m.  Lead by Thomas McCargar, conductor and singer, and under the auspices of Make Music New York, those who have gathered will sing John Lennon’s “IMAGINE” at the very moment IMAGINE PEACE lights up the Times Square billboards at 11:57 p.m. Participants—and those who cannot make it to Times Square—are encouraged to follow @TSqArts on Friday night and tweet photos, videos, and peace using the hashtag #imaginepeaceTSQ.

Yoko Ono Lennon says: “It's Time for Action, Action is Peace. Think Peace, Act Peace, Spread Peace, IMAGINE PEACE! Together we have the power to change the world. I LOVE YOU!!”

Tim Tompkins, President of Time Square Alliance, says: “As we gear up for our New Year’s Eve celebration, this happening will allow us to  look back on 2012 and calmly reflect on the year that was, remembering the good and the bad, and to also hope for and IMAGINE a peaceful 2013.”

“Surrounded by the electronic billboards of Duffy Square and on the risers of the red steps, this happening will be one moment of unison amongst strangers—a shared time to IMAGINE together and to begin a new time, a new calendar, and to challenge the Mayan-predicted End of Time with hope,” says Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Alliance.

"Art has the power to bring people together and nothing is more powerful than when we are all united in our humanity,” say Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force, co-founders of Art Production Fund.  “Every opportunity to come together as one is another step in the direction of peace, understanding, and global respect.  Imagine Peace—our world cannot afford another day without it."

Aaron Friedman, President of Make Music New York, says: "Bringing people together through participatory music making is what Make Music New York is all about. It's a value we share with the brilliant Yoko Ono and the invaluable Times Square Alliance, which hosted our Philip Glass sing-in earlier this year. We hope this brief event will give New Yorkers an opportunity to pause for a meaningful moment and Imagine Peace."

Ono’s work, IMAGINE PEACE, is this December’s Times Square Moment, a presentation of the Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.  Ono’s IMAGINE PEACE is featured nightly from 11:57 pm to midnight every night through December 30, and is a collaboration with the Art Production Fund.

IMAGINE PEACE is Yoko Ono’s worldwide initiative of anti-violence.  In the film, “Imagine Peace” is written in 24 languages set over the tranquil imagery of a blue-sky background. The piece has been transformed into a multi-channel work specifically for the Times Square Moment, and spreads the message of peace across Times Square's monumental screens simultaneously, filling the Crossroads of the World with 24 languages of the world.

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Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, presents leading contemporary art and performances in multiple forms and media to more than 400,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, making it one of the highest profile public arts programs in the United States. Since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of more than four dozen prominent and emerging artists. Working in partnership with cultural institutions and festivals, the program is further supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Fund, which works to spur and support cultural innovation in New York City’s creative sector. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter: @TSqArts

About Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono (b. 1933, Tokyo, Japan) is an award-winning multi-media artist and peace activist, who constantly challenges and stretches the traditional boundaries of sculpture, painting, theater and music. Her seminal performance art in the early 1960s, experimental films and collaborative music with John Lennon in the 1970s and international one-woman shows and retrospectives during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s illustrate her varied career. Yoko Ono is well known for her peace initiatives both by herself and, later, for events created with her husband John Lennon: the two, week-long BED-INs for Peace and the legendary billboard and poster campaigns WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It). She is now widely known for her more recent events with her IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Iceland and participatory WISH TREES throughout the world. 

Art Production Fund (APF) is a public art initiative dedicated to commissioning, producing and presenting ambitious art projects by emerging and established artists. APF is committed to engaging audiences in creative ways by realizing socially relevant projects, which push the field of public art in new directions. APF’s unexpected and challenging projects are available to diverse audiences in locations that fall outside the realm of traditional art institutions. Follow us on Twitter: @ArtProductionNY. For more information call Prentice Art Communications 212-228-4048, bettina@prenticeart.com or sara@prenticeart.com

Make Music New York's second annual Make Music Winter features twelve participatory, musical parades throughout New York City on December 21st, the first night of winter. Inspired by composer Phil Kline's annual Unsilent Night, which has drawn thousands of participants since its launch in 1992, Make Music Winter includes innovative projects for bells, brass bands, electric guitars, iPhones, percussionists, singers, strings, and more. Like its summer counterpart, Make Music Winter is free, outdoors, and profoundly participatory. All are invited to join in. Details are available at makemusicny.org. Follow us on Twitter: @makemusicny

Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community.   Members of TSAC include:  ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, The Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters.  www.TimesSquareAdCoalition.org

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ABOUT TIMES SQUARE MOMENT: A DIGITAL GALLERY:
“Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery” is the largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on billboards throughout Times Square every night. The program, which premiered in May 2012, is organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts, the public art program for the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists. Creativity has always been at the forefront of the Times Square signs and their presence is now integral to the identity of this iconic public space.  This level of sign holder commitment to synchronize their daily programs to feature cutting-edge art throughout the year is unparalleled.

Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards. Every show begins at 11:57pm with a "countdown" that signals the start of the 3 minute nightly presentation. Content changes monthly; selected works are announced in the weeks preceding the start of a new show as are the exact signs participating in that month's selection. Past artists featured in "Times Square Moment: A Digital Gallery" include Robert Wilson; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; and Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini. For more information on past projects, please visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/MidnightMoment.

The following digital screens are participating in the December Times Square Moment: ABC Super Sign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Disney, JVC Screen, MTV 44 ½, NASDAQ, Spectacolor HD129 / Times Square Visitor Center Marquee, ClearChannel HD128, Spectacolor HD127 / CNN Screen, Times Square Visitor Center, Viacom North & South (SL Green Realty and Orange Barrel Media) Thomson Reuters, and 7TS (7 Times Square).