Portals invigorate communities through global connections
Forge real connections
Create a global dialogue on any topic, from climate change to video games. Interactions range from light-hearted games to thought-provoking conversations using prompts such as “What would make today a good day for you?” Or “What makes you feel proud?”
Activate public space
Bring people to your stores, cafes, and restaurants, and keep them there for dialogues, performances, and live events. From Times Square to Mexico’s Chapultepec Park, Portals have found a home among the world’s busiest intersections.
Share your culture
Show the world what makes your community unique. Describe and display your culture to the world in your own terms through classes, joint artistic collaborations, performances and more.
Featured Case Studies
Community Building in Milwaukee, WI
The Milwaukee Portal is outside a youth center in the city’s Amani neighborhood, a low-income area dealing with a substantial amount of crime. Groups of residents from Milwaukee and Newark, New Jersey met to share ideas and strategies they use to reduce violence in their respective communities.
The conversation gave the groups — both from low-income, mostly black neighborhoods — an opportunity to delve into some weighty topics like prisoner re-entry, and share a few laughs in a face-to-face setting, all while remaining more than 700 miles apart. Community organizer Dennis Walton said he sees value in swapping insights with Newark residents who deal with similar issues.
School groups and arts organizations can also use the Milwaukee Portal to connect with other parts of the world, and the units in Milwaukee and Newark will be open for focused dialogues three days a week. Researchers at Yale and Rutgers universities plan to analyze edited conversations about police-community relations. Lewis Lee is the Amani Portal’s full-time curator and runs it like a talk show, pulling in school kids and sometimes local cops on the beat.
Placemaking in Times Square, NY
Democratic citizenship requires public spaces in which people feel safe and connected to one another. These spaces require protection from privatization, commercialization, and intimidation.
In addition to hosting dialogues between individuals, the TimesSquare_Portal hosted special conversations, meals, musical performances, and more. Each of the nearly seven weeks of this installation will explore a specific theme: Public Space, Food, Migration, Performance, Identity, Change, and Gratitude.
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation, and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity.
Debra Simon, Times Square Arts Director, said, "The TimesSquare_Portal is located in the perfect venue to encourage dialogue concerning global topics that impact everyone."
Cultural Exchange in Richmond, VA
Richmond, Virginia is among America’s oldest cities and a hotbed for creative industries. Known for its historic architecture, rapids-filled river, craft beer, and parks & gardens something, the city boasts something for everyone. Today, this city is alive with music, museums, studios, and art-filled streets. Richmond is a dynamic community rich with culture, history, and passionate people who continually do amazing things that enrich our lives and the world.
The Richmond_Portal is located in Monroe Park, found next to Virginia Commonwealth University in the creative heart of the City. Monroe Park, named for the 5th President of the United States James Monroe, is the first Portal stop on the year-long tour of the city. The Richmond_Portal seeks to bring the world to Richmond and export the magic of Richmond to the world.