Governors Island will open July 15 and ferry tickets are available now. Click here to reserve tickets.

Governors Island Opens Call for Proposals for Innovative Arts, Culture and Special Events in 2018 and Beyond


The Trust for Governors Island is now accepting proposals for public programming in 2018 and beyond. Organizations and event producers working in the arts, culture, education and environmental science are invited to propose indoor exhibits, performances, outdoor festivals and more for the public to enjoy during the Island’s public season, which runs May 1 through October 31.

Governors Island’s art and culture program offers an incredible opportunity for organizations to expand to new audiences and produce groundbreaking, experimental programming in one of New York City’s fastest growing cultural destinations. A record 800,000 people visited Governors Island in 2017, with nearly 75% hailing from New York City, making it one of the most exciting venues for presenting groundbreaking public programming in the City. This year, The Trust will challenge proposers to submit programs and new projects that engage meaningfully with the Island’s unique history, landscape and diverse audience. Site fees will be waived for qualifying programs and events that are free and open to the public.

“Each season, Governors Island comes alive with countless opportunities to discover free programming in the arts, history and science, making it one of New York City’s most exciting cultural destinations” said Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island. “With more visitors than ever and a longer, six-month season, we’re delighted to offer a wider platform for organizations to showcase programming to a growing audience”.

The Trust has a long history of offering New York City’s arts and cultural community a unique platform for expanding audience beyond a single neighborhood, and an opportunity to showcase work in the Island’s serene and historic settings. Through the Trust’s art and culture program, over 150,000 square feet of indoor space in dozens of historic houses and 25 acres of outdoor space are made available free of charge to organizations that create programming that is free and open to the public. Over 60 arts, cultural and educational organizations from across New York City participated in the program in 2017, producing over 80 events.

This year, for the first time, the Trust will also offer organizations the opportunity to propose indoor programming in Nolan Park, a collection of charming 19th century homes, for up to three seasons. When submitting a proposal, organizations will be invited to propose programming for a day, a weekend, multiple weeks or season-long. Programs that are season-long to multi-season will be eligible for indoor space in one of the Nolan Park Houses. Shorter-term programs will be eligible for space in the nearby brick homes in Colonels Row. In addition, outdoor programs, both free and ticketed, will be eligible for the Island’s expansive green spaces including the Colonels Row Lawn, Nolan Park, Play Lawn, Oval and the newly restored Parade Ground.

“Governors Island is a place like no other in New York, and its position at the center of New York Harbor provides myriad paths to question, explore, and engage with the public in sustained and profound ways,” said Meredith Johnson, the Trust’s VP for Arts and Culture, “With the revised proposal process for 2018, and the possibility of presenting a program over many years, our goal is to entrench art, cultural collaboration and innovative practice deeper than ever before into very heart of the Island’s future.”

An application, as well as additional information about hosting public programs on Governors Island, is available at The Trust encourages organizations to place an emphasis on public participation when proposing programs. Proposals will be evaluated based on fit and alignment with the Island’s diverse and dynamic arts and cultural programming, track-record of producing and organizing other programs and events and engagement with the Island as a site, including its history, ecology, architecture and relationship to New York City.

Qualifying proposals received between today and January 31, 2018 will be informed of their acceptance to the program with location assignments in mid-February. Proposals for season-long or multi-year programs must be received by this date. After January 31, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.

The Trust will open an additional permit process for mobile food vendors, sports field and grill reservations in early 2018. For more information on spaces managed by the Trust for Governors Island, visit For information on the 22-acre Governors Island National Monument managed by the National Parks Service, visit

In 2018, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31. The Island is open from 10AM to 6PM on weekdays and from 10AM to 7PM on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.