ALL CITY works to foster the public appreciation of graffiti and to generate dialogue about the history and current developments in this controversial cultural movement. Through innovative exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, media projects and publications, ALL CITY aims to explore and transform the relationship between high and low, insider and outsider, public space and private property, citizen and criminal.
The term ‘ALL CITY’ comes from the title given to graffiti writers who attained an elevated status within their subculture by getting their work into all five boroughs of New York via the trains of the city’s subway. Today, subway-borne graffiti is a thing of the past, but the term ‘ALL CITY’ remains in the parlance of graffiti insiders, describing writers whose work transcends civic borders. Graffiti arose from primarily working-class communities throughout New York City in the early 1970’s and, over the ensuing 35 years, has developed into an international phenomenon.
ALL CITY’s goal is to mobilize and re-channel the work of graffiti artists into positive and productive venues so as to generate an awareness of its social, cultural, and artistic value, as well as to showcase its history and its influence on creative art, commercial art, music and other cultural forms in today's society.