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The Performance Arcade 2020 - Call for proposals



Tue 28 May 2019, 12:00 pm


Fri 02 Aug 2019, 05:00 pm




Performance, proposals

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Proposals due 2 August 2019

Main event Image.

The Performance Arcade announces its open call to artists from New Zealand and around the world for its 2020 programme of works (20 February - 1 March). This annual exhibition and programme of events located on Wellington Waterfront is recognized as an important platform for live art, with ten successful presentations over the past eight years. This hybrid gallery/stage architecture is made from an assembly of shipping containers to create a series of spaces for installation, performance art, sonic art, interactive media, video-art, forums, theatre, dance, and live music. Opening onto the bustling life of Wellington Waterfront, these sites of encounter engage the public in contemporary art and performance practices outside the familiar constraints of gallery or theatre spaces, visited by 60-90,000 people each year.

Proposals for works located in shipping containers are welcomed, as well as works that travel through the city or occupy waterfront environments to explore Wellington as a city of live art. A selection of works may also be selected for other exhibitions in other centres. 

PROPOSALS FOR THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2020 ARE DUE BY 2 AUGUST 2019 AT 5PM (Application form and details)

CONTAINER WORKS: specifications

HOURS: The Arcade will be open from 10am – 11pm. It is expected that container works must remain open or active throughout this time.  
DATES: The event will be presented in two sessions: 20-23 Feb, then four more days 27 Feb - 1 March. Artists can propose works for both or just one of these sessions.

SECURITY: Containers will need to be made secure overnight. Individual works can continue to perform overnight, but this will require the artist to provide the required security and safety measures. The Arcade will have overnight security for supervision of the whole Arcade environment.

MODIFICATIONS: You can specify containers with open-sides, alterations, or doors on both ends. Containers can have holes drilled in them or modifications made. However, extra costs associated with sourcing specific containers and repairing any of these modifications will need to be covered by the artist. Engineering and consent costs apply if an artist plans to stack containers, put them on their end, or something else.

CONTAINERS: The standard dimensions of a single shipping container are: INTERIOR, width 2352mm, height 2395mm, length 5898mm; EXTERIOR, width 2440mm, height 2600mm, length 6058mm.


Using the 3km long 'Pink Line' our programming extends out from Arcade, inviting a range of submissions for works along the length of the waterfront from Wellington Railway Station to Oriental Bay. This typically involves interventions that use mobile performance, social sculpture, and the 'hacking' or occupation of urban systems to produce new experiences. The Performance Arcade will provide all signage and wayfinding for works presented in this way.


The Stage Space is an outdoor area located behind The Arcade. It provides a space for evening events, live music, performances, and special programmes. There is a stage made from an open-sided shipping container, and the surrounding landscape offers other staging / performance opportunities.  This space includes facilities for sound, lighting, data-projection, and will host a range of events throughout the Arcade. We are interested in hearing from you if you have works that might suit this space: culinary performance, film, performance art, video, or live music.


1 PROPOSALS: We welcome proposals for new works, or the development and re-presentation of existing works.

2 PROGRAMMING: Artists can present in SESSION 1 (20-23 Feb), SESSION 2 (27 Feb - 1 March), or BOTH SESSIONS. 

3 INFRASTRUCTURE: The presenting company for the event is The Playground NZ, who provides ‘umbrella’ management and resources for selected works. This support includes container hire and delivery, exterior architecture, signage, security, curation, marketing, personnel, some shared materials, and other site-related organisation. Realisation and management of individual works are the responsibility of each artist. This involves sourcing funding, equipment, expertise, and labor for the creation of each work, as well as maintaining and supervising it over the course of the Arcade.

4 FINANCIAL: It is expected that Artists will cover the costs of their individual projects. However, courtesy of the Wellington City Council Public Art Fund we can provide Seed Funding to assist with material costs, expenses, and artist fees. Please use the budget in your proposal document to indicate where this support is required. Seed funds usually cover between NZ$400-$1000.

5 PROCESS: A series of meetings, workshops and presentation opportunities will run from September 2019 until the opening of the Arcade. These help develop the curatorial vision and build our community, enabling support as well as engagement between Arcade artists and works.

6 EXPECTATIONS: It is a condition of inclusion in The Performance Arcade 2020 that selected artists attend all programmed workshops and meetings, are available to set-up their work from 17-20 February, and can attend the Arcade from 20 February - 1 March, 2020. Artists presenting in the second session only (27 Feb - 1 March) will set up from 24-26 February.

7 INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS: For international artists, we provide accommodation for the duration of event. With the logistics involved in bringing a work from overseas we welcome early submissions and enquiries from artists outside NZ.


28 May            Proposal Process Opens
11 Jun              Open forum for interested applicants, at Prague Quadrennial, location tbc.

18 Jun              Open forum for interested applicants, at Grünthaler9, Berlin, exact date/time tbc (with assistance from Goethe-Institut, Wellington).

2 July               Open forum for intersted applicants, at Toi Pōneke Wellington Art Centre, Wellington, time tbc.

2 Aug              PROPOSALS DUE FOR PA2019

16 Aug            Application Results Announced

21 Sep             Artist Workshop #1

Sep (tbc)           Programme launch 

30 Nov            Artist Workshop #2

24 Jan             Artist Workshop #3
7 Feb               Artist Workshop #4

10-14 Feb        Pack-in / set up architecture and infrastructure
16 Feb             Artist welcome and Preview Picnic
17-20 Feb        Artist set up, installation, and rehearsals

20-23 Feb        THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2020 open

24-26 Feb        Change-over works from Session 1 to Session 2
27 Feb-1 Mar   THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2020 open

2 Mar              Artists pack down


The proposal process involves two actions

Complete a ‘Proposal Document’ to the specifications below.

  1. Name/s of artists

  2. Name of proposed work

  3. State clearly if you are submitting a work for a shipping container, in the waterfront/city environment, or for our ‘Stagespace’.

  4. Contact Phone

  5. Email address

  6. Personnel Involved: Please include bios for your team

  7. Synopsis of proposed work (500 words )

  8. A detailed budget that specifies how you will resource the project. Provide commentary if necessary.

  9. A technical inventory (all electrical devices and accessories)

  10. Plans, sections, and diagrams of the proposed inhabitation of your container, and/or other images of how the work will be realised.

  11. Additional material to support your proposal, which can include video, audio, atmospheric imagery, details of kinetic elements, technical setup or other specific features.

  12. Other notes of interest: please let us know if there is anything else you would like to contribute in addition to the proposed work.

Submit your completed proposal document in the form provided below. Please use PDF or JPEG file formats only.

Applications are due by 5.00pm 2 August 2019

For queries contact: / + 64(0)210653992 


  • Strength and relevance of concept

  • The level of detail to the design/installation/performance proposal

  • A clear budget with a realistic resourcing plan

  • Overall feasibility of proposal

  • Contribution to the philosophy of the Arcade (see Manifesto)

The Performance Arcade is curated by artistic director and designer Sam Trubridge, working with a selection panel comprised of NZ artists, producers, and curators.

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