Due to ongoing maintenance at Pier 102, weekend NYC Ferry will run to and from Yankee Pier via shuttle from Pier 11/Wall Street. Visit ferry.nyc for more info.

Propose a Public Program

The Trust for Governors Island works with cultural and educational organizations to host independent exhibitions, performances, art installations, festivals, screenings, concerts, workshops and more. Governors Island offers a unique opportunity for organizations to reach new audiences in an unforgettable setting. While proposals of all kinds are welcome, we are particularly committed to hosting programs and projects that engage meaningfully with the Island’s unique conditions.  

Sample Events that would require a Public Program Permit:
  • Art and cultural programming, such as art installations, exhibitions, screenings and performances.
  • Educational programming, including talks, workshops, walking tours and other activities that are open to the public.
  • Public festivals, concerts, games and other recreational events that are either free or ticketed.
Proposal Selection Criteria:
  • Fit or alignment with our vision to infuse the Island with dynamic arts and cultural programming, as well as educational opportunities in the arts, sciences and nature
  • Applicant’s track-record of producing and organizing other exceptional programs or events
  • Emphasis on public participation across diverse audiences
  • Engagement with the Island as a site, including its histories, local ecologies, architecture and relationship to New York City
  • Feasibility of the program based on the Island’s operational capacities and infrastructure

SITE FEES:

The Trust does not charge site fees for programs in indoor and outdoor spaces that are free and open to the public.

In order to maintain our historic buildings and green spaces, a site fee will be applied to all ticketed, revenue-generating events. Note that a special rate for nonprofit organizations is available. Site fees will be estimated based on the information in your proposal. Additional costs associated with dedicated services such as ferries and security may apply based on the size and timing of your event.


PLEASE NOTE:
  • An accepted proposal does not guarantee that you will be able to hold a program or event on Governors Island. Programs are not confirmed until a signed agreement has been received and approved by both parties.
  • The Trust welcomes inquiries from individual artists interested in showing work on Governors Island. However, only artists working directly with organizations can apply through this proposal process. For information regarding our ArtCommssionsGI program, please contact commissions@govisland.org.

Deadlines

Proposals are selected on a rolling basis, and we encourage you to submit as early as possible. If your proposed program is a good fit, we may follow up to request additional information and schedule a site visit. Programs are not final until a permit or license agreement is executed. All proposals must be submitted at least 60 days before the program or event would take place.


Available Spaces


To propose a public program on Governors Island, please click “Submit a Proposal” below and take a few minutes to answer the proposal questions. Having as many details as possible up front will help us better understand your program’s site needs, production setup, logistical complexities, and thematic connections to the Island.

Statement of Intent 

After filling out the proposal form, please submit a brief Statement of Intent describing your program in greater detail and its connection to Governors Island. The Statement of Intent should be submitted to programming@govisland.org and address the following: 

Program and site:

  • A detailed description of the program, project or event
  • Why Governors Island? What relationship does your program have to the Island's history, environments or ongoing programming in the areas of art, culture, science, environmental education or sustainability?
  • Do you plan to collaborate with any other organizations or programs already on the Island?

Audience:

  • Who is the intended audience, and how do you plan to engage them?

Experience:

  • Describe your experience organizing, producing and promoting similar programs
  • Please note any past projects that give context to what you want to do on Governors Island

Visual materials:

  • Please include any images, drawings, sketches, site plans or diagrams that will further describe or represent your production or installation set up.

If you have any questions about the process or what’s required, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at programming@govisland.org. We look forward to learning more about your program idea!

(Before submitting your proposal, we recommend reviewing the Island’s rules and regulations here.)


Apply Now

If you are not yet a registered user, you will be prompted to sign up before you can fill out the application.

Register & Submit A Proposal Login To Your Account

FAQs

Have more questions before applying? Read through these FAQs, or check out our Rules and Regulations.

  • Selection criteria include:
    • Fit or alignment with our vision to infuse the Island with dynamic arts and cultural programming, as well as educational opportunities in the arts, sciences and nature
    • Applicant’s track-record of producing and organizing other exceptional programs or events
    • Emphasis on public participation across diverse audiences
    • Engagement with the Island as a site, including its histories, local ecologies, architecture and relationship to New York City
    • Feasibility of the program based on the Island’s operational capacities and infrastructure.

Our typical response time is 2-3 weeks. If you need to get in touch with us, you can reach out to the Programming team at programming@govisland.org.

·         While you can request a specific area on the Island as part of your proposal, please note that organizations proposing programs for indoor areas will not have the opportunity to select a specific location. For accepted proposals, the Trust will find an appropriate site based on the proposed program and production setup.

·         Events that are ticketed, charge admission or take place after or before public hours are subject to site fees, to be determined by The Trust during the proposal review process.

·         Programs and events that are free and open to the public are eligible to have site fees waived.

·         Programs/events may require additional services such as dedicated security, ferry, custodial and emergency medical services. In these cases, the organization producing the event/program will be responsible for these costs.

Private and ticketed public events can be held on the Island after or before public hours, as well as during the off-season with special permission from the Trust. Please note that events that do not take place during normal public hours may involve additional costs associated with dedicated Island services, such as extended ferry service or security.

  • Event dates can be placed on hold after the Trust has received and reviewed your proposal and statement of intent. Programs are not confirmed, and dates cannot be placed on hold until a signed agreement has been received and approved by both parties.

Visitors are not permitted to bring their own alcohol to Governors Island; however, alcohol can be served and consumed at authorized events on the Island. Alcohol is only permitted in areas designated by the Trust and only served to those over 21 years of age. Program and event organizers are responsible for securing a permit from the New York State Liquor Authority to serve alcohol. The Trust must receive a copy of the liquor permit and approve all logistical plans for the area where alcohol will be served.

Events or programs anticipating 4,000 or more attendees are required to provide additional ferry service, at their expense, to supplement Governors Island's regularly scheduled ferries. The Trust will work with event producers to create a ferry schedule that works within the Island's existing operation and make recommendations for ferry operators and capacities.

Governors Island has tents of varying sizes available for programs to rent, and more information on tent specs can be provided upon request. Governors Island does not own a stage, generators or AV equipment; if your event/program requires such equipment, please indicate this in your proposal.

Currently there is not high-speed internet available on Governors Island. Programs requiring Wi-Fi should plan to use a hotspot or mobile Wi-Fi device.

Electricity varies throughout the Island and is not available on many event sites. If your program requires electricity please inform the Trust as it may be necessary to hire an electrician to make these connections, or provide generators, at the cost of the applicant. Some areas of Governors Island currently have potable water. Please include your needs for water in your proposal. Potable water is not available at most private/ticketed event sites.

The Trust will work with event producers to create a comprehensive Operational Plan including (but not limited to): a site plan, run of show, ferry transportation schedule, security/staffing plans to best work within the Island's daily operations.   

Nonprofit organizations can solicit donations, but only in the designated space reserved for your event or program.

The Trust discourages the sale of commercial products. The sale of educational materials, such as books or printed materials related to the proposed program are permitted upon review. For outdoor festivals and events, outside food vendors are permitted and subject to standard New York City DOHMH policies. Sales of any type should be noted in event/program proposals for review by the Trust. If you’re interested in selling art at your program or event, please get in touch with us directly at programming@govisland.org.