In the summer of 2019, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced a new campaign to stop fare evasion, including plans to hire 500 new police officers. What’s fare evasion? Who gets policed and prosecuted for fare evasion? What does public transit for all look like?

In the fall of 2019, CUP collaborated with Teaching Artist Stephen Kwok and public high school students from Life Sciences Secondary School to investigate the crackdown on fare evasion and its impact on local communities. Students installed public artwork, surveyed community members, and interviewed key stakeholders working on the issue. The crew gathered what they learned and created Swipe Out — a foldout poster that breaks down the issue.

Students debuted their final project virtually through a public webinar, where they presented their booklet and shared their creative process.

Get your own booklet here!

See more photos of students in action here!

Watch a video of the students creative process below!

What People Are Saying

“I learned how to engage with other people to complete a project, how to do proper research, and how to make a difference in my city.” – X-Zavion Rivera, Student

“We went outside and got to meet the people who were actively working on the issues instead of just learning and memorizing what they did.” – Ada Johnsen-DeWeese, Student

“I’ve learned to create questions that require a deep level of thinking , draw characters from real pictures of people, and work together with others.” Carl Washington IV, Student

“I would recommend this program to a friend because I want people to be more aware of the things going on in our society and how the government is handling these situations. We need to come together as a society in order to help ourselves and built the city that we want to see ourselves in.” – Rosemarie Alubankudi, Student

Funding Support

Major Support for this program was provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Ben Kallos.

Special Thanks

Clair Beltran, Elijah Bobo, Veronica Brown, Hua Chen, Danna Dennis, Ben Fried, David Miranda, Dan Quart, Hayley Richardson, Irina Vinnitskaya, Stephanie Yee


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Stephen Kwok
  • Project Lead
  • Fielding Hong
  • Project Support
  • Leigh Taylor
  • LIfe Sciences Secondary School 
  • Students
  • Rosemarie Alubankudi, Azia Francis, Ada Johnsen-DeWeese, Nadia Islam, X-Zavion Rivera, Carl Washington IV, Stacey Zegaya
  • Principal
  • Kim Swanson

  • Parent Coordinator
  • Cecilia Gual