Founded in New York in 1974, Creative Time has a history of commissioning, producing and presenting adventurous public artworks. During the 1980s and 90s it broadened the definitions of both art and public space, presenting projects on sites from billboards to landmark buildings to deli cups, and encouraging artists to address timely issues such as domestic violence, AIDS and racial inequality. Creative Time also promotes collaboration within the creative community, partnering with such organizations as Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2007 Creative Time expanded to national and international projects, working with artists, sites and partners in cities such as New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago and London. In 2008 Creative Time was hired by the city of Louisville to develop its first Public Art Master Plan.
Creative Time's residency took the form of a yearlong study of the Dallas art community to identify strengths and potential areas for growth. During the course of three week-long visits to Dallas in 2010, Creative Time's team met with a wide range of members of the art community, including artists, curators, collectors, gallery owners, visual and performing arts organization leaders, school administrators, philanthropists, writers, community organizers and city officials. The resulting report, released in February 2011, presented some 60 recommendations for both individual and collective action to help the Dallas art community thrive. In follow-up to the report, Creative Time participated in a public symposium in April 2011 called "The Freedom of the City: Models of Urban Engagement & Creativity in the 21st Century," hosted by the Meadows School. The symposium explored the relationship between artists, architects, activists and social justice struggles, and examined new models of public art practice and architecture in the urban environment.