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Governors Island opens its annual call for proposals for indoor programs and exhibitions for the 2020 season


The Trust for Governors Island has opened its annual call for proposals for free indoor exhibition space, open to artistic, cultural, environmental and educational organizations for the 2020 public season. Space inside over two dozen historic former officers’ homes will be offered to non-profit organizations proposing free public programs, including art and educational exhibitions, performances, workshops, screenings, talks and more.

“Each season, arts and cultural organizations from across New York bring Governors Island’s historic district to life with groundbreaking and experimental arts, environmental and educational programming for all ages,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Governors Island provides an unforgettable venue for cultural organizations and non-profits to present work in front of a highly engaged, diverse public audience.”

With a growing number of visitors of all ages from across New York, the United States and abroad, Governors Island offers an unprecedented opportunity for arts, environmental, cultural and educational organizations to reach the public in a singular setting. In 2019, 30 organizations presented exhibits, workshops, performances and talks, and hosted artists-in-residence in the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row, once home to military officers and their families during Governors Island’s nearly two-century history as a military base. These homes dating from the late nineteenth century provide multiple rooms of various sizes, often across two floors, that can be used for installations, exhibitions, artist studios, intimate performance venues or spaces for small workshops and educational programs.

“Governors Island has the rare combination of unparalleled historic space, rich ecology and an ever growing local, national and international audience at the center of our country’s largest metropolis,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture at the Trust for Governors Island. “The cultural community is the heart of New York City, and we are thrilled to be able to share the Island’s unique resources with leading cultural organizations from across the city.”

Proposing organizations will present free public programming during the hours of 11am to 5pm on weekends during the public season (May 1–October 31, 2020). Organizations who apply are encouraged to propose programs that emphasize diverse public participation and engagement. Proposals will be evaluated based on the overall quality of the proposed program; fit and alignment with the Island’s dynamic arts, cultural and educational programming; track-record of conceptualizing, producing and organizing other programs and events; commitment to connecting with diverse audiences; and engagement with the Island as a site, including its history, ecology, architecture and relationship to the rest of New York City. The application and additional information on hosting indoor programs is available at