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Nau mai, haere mai. The Performance Arcade announces its open call to artists from Aotearoa and around the world for its 2025 programme of works (21 February to 2 March 2025). 

The Performance Arcade is an annual exhibition and festival programme of events located on Wellington Waterfront, with fourteen years of successful presentations from 2011-2024. This event is a unique platform, where artists from across diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and levels of experience gather to share work in a free public event.


Our hybrid gallery/stage architecture is assembled from shipping containers and scaffolding to create a range of covered spaces and outdoor platforms for installation, performance art, sonic art, interactive media, video-art, forums, theatre, dance, and live music. Opening onto the bustling Wellington Waterfront, these sites of encounter engage the public in contemporary art and performance practices outside the familiar constraints of gallery or theatre spaces, experienced by 50-90,000 people each year.

Key priorities for our 2025 programme include:

- Celebrating 15 years of the event with a special programme of NZ and international artists

- Appointing leadership roles that bring fresh voices into the creative vision and future of the event
- Up to NZ$5000 available to fund each selected work


Proposals for works located in shipping containers are welcomed, as well as live music and works that travel through the city or occupy waterfront environments. Each year we explore new formats for presenting work in response to selected works: this may include a video series for screen based works, the 'Live Lab' container for one day or shorter performances, and additional performance platforms spaces on the Te Papa ramp and lagoon spaces.

1) PROPOSALS:  We welcome proposals for new works, or the development and re-presentation of existing works. Artists must choose to propose works for one of our following programmes.




THE CONTAINER SERIES (works located inside a shipping container, for one of the following)

  • SESSION 1, 21-23 February (3 days)

  • SESSION 2, 27 February - 2 March (4 days)

  • BOTH SESSIONS, 21 February - 2 March (7 days)

  • LIVE LAB (A container hosting works for one day or shorter durations)

LIVE MUSIC SERIES (a full programme of live music running from afternoon to evening 21 Feb - 2 March, with the 'PA2023 Unplugged' weekend 15-16 February)


WATERFRONT AND CITY SERIES (works that are performed or installed along Wellington Waterfront or in the city, not relying on a shipping container)

OUTDOOR STAGE SERIES (works for a seated/gathered audience on one of our two stage spaces)

  • MAIN STAGE (a container stage next to the bar fitted with full audio system and stage lighting)

  • THE RAMP (a large sloped surface below Te Papa that is a good space for larger scale performance/spectacles - options to include projections in evening performances)

3) SUPPORT The presenting company for the event is The Playground NZ, who provides management, infrastructure, and resources for the selected works. This support includes container hire and delivery, exterior architecture, engineering, signage, electricity, overnight and event 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 equipment, creative contributors, technicians, and labor for the creation of each work, as well as maintaining and supervising it over the course of the event.


4) FINANCIAL We cover presentation costs for all selected works to pay for material costs, expenses, and artist fees within the presentation period. Please use the budget in your proposal document to provide a full account of all expenses required to present your work in our event. Our presentation costs usually cover between NZ$500-$5000 for the presentation of artwork, proportionate to scale of work and ambition. This does not cover development costs for the works. However we will help to source funding for development of the work, or for costs that might exceed the $5000 limit.

5) PROCESS A series of meetings, workshops and presentation opportunities will run from November 2024 until the opening of the event. These help develop the curatorial vision, build a collaborative community, and help us rehearse and prepare for the event together. 

6) EXPECTATIONS It is a condition of inclusion in The Performance Arcade 2025 that selected artists attend curatorial meetings and workshops, and are available to set-up their work from 17-20 February. Artists are expected to supervise their work while it is being presented. Artists presenting in the second session only (27 Feb - 2 March) will set up from 24-26 February. Artists not resident in Wellington can attend workshops via Zoom. All works in shipping containers must be open from 10am-10pm daily, or as outlined in the final presentation schedule.

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

8) VISAS We are recognised as an international arts festival by Immigration New Zealand, and as such are able to sponsor work visas for all international artists. 


STEP 1: complete a proposal document with the below information included. 


  1. Name/s of artists and proposed work.

  2. State clearly if you are submitting work for a shipping container, in the waterfront/city environment, the video series, or for our stage spaces.

  3. State clearly your anticipated dates for presentation (Session 1, Session 2, Both Sessions, or other for Waterfront Series works).

  4. Contact phone number/s and email addresses.

  5. Personnel Involved: please include bios for your team.

  6. Synopsis of proposed work (500 words )

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

  8. Requested seed funding amount (up to $5000NZD).

  9. A technical inventory (all electrical devices and equipment used)

  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.


Or are you applying for the Live Music Series?
Upload your proposal document containing the following:


  1. Name of act.

  2. Contact name, phone number and email address.

  3. A paragraph explaining your act and why you think you would be a great fit for The Performance Arcade. This could include themes relevant to your performance, examples of extended technique or how your performance is unique for a stage environment.

  4. A short bio about your act (less than 500 words), for marketing purposes.

  5. Links to music and/or videos. 

  6. Links to any social media accounts or website.

  7. A tech rider or a detailed description of your technical requirements.

  8. Your prefered performance fee, with supporting reasoning.

  9. Any other additional material to support your proposal. This could include images, links to articles, additional material, or an EPK.

STEP 2: Submit your completed proposal document in the Application Portal below.

Please use PDF or JPEG file formats only.

Applications are due by 5.00pm Friday 30th August 2024 (NZ time)

For queries contact: / + 64(0)210653992



  • Strength and relevance of concept within contemporary performance, art, and cultural practices.


  • Detailed and feasible design/installation/performance proposal.


  • Clear budget with a realistic resourcing plan.


  • Overall feasibility of proposal.


  • Contribution to the kaupapa of the Arcade.

The Performance Arcade 2025 will be curated by Nat-Lîm Kado working with a selection panel and support from PA founder and executive director Sam Trubridge.


We recognise the Mana Whenua of Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Maui (Te Ati Awa, Taranaki Whānui) where we present our work every year, and are committed to actively promoting diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity in the presentation of artists and audience experience of our event.



The Performance Arcade was initiated by The PlayGround NZ to provide an opportunity for live art projects in Wellington NZ, establishing an innovative and collaborative platform for presenting live arts and developing this growing community of artists.

In 2014 the Manifesto for a Performance Community was written by a group of Arcade contributors to further define this vision for future events.


The Arcade functions as an 'umbrella event' for chosen projects, aiming to provide as much resource and infrastructure as possible to aid in the presentation of the works. It seeks to develop and maintain a close community of artists and crew for the duration of the project. In this way, a well-formed, cohesive event is produced that creates numerous opportunities for networking, mentorship, and collaboration within this community.


The terms and conditions below outline a mutually beneficial partnership between
The PlayGround NZ (The Presenter) and The Artist to present their work in The Performance Arcade 2025 (The Event), detailing the expectations of each party to the other.

The Presenter will provide the following:



For container works: One standard 20 foot shipping container placed on site for the installation of the artwork. Any special requirements, specific containers, or engineering may incur extra expenses, which will be the responsibility of The Artist.

For works in other waterfront/city sites: Assistance in negotiations with property owners and city council to secure sites for the work.


Power supply/technology:

For container works: 240volt 10 amp power for all works located within The Performance Arcade. Any special power requirements or higher capacity circuits required may incur an extra cost which will be the responsibility of the Artist. For the Live Music Series / StageSpaces: PA system, lighting, and sound engineer. For works in other waterfront/city sites: Assistance in the sourcing of power at city venues, assisting with relationships with City Council and Property Owners.

For works on screens: screen and playback devices for presenting the work installed in the Arcade.


Event management:

A production team to provide scheduling, infrastructure support and event management.


Event Facilities: 

Event signage including a listing of the Artist's work; restroom facilities; a shared container space for artists; spaces to meet with the public, relax, and develop dialogue such as a bar, lounge space, and a stage space.


Health and Safety: 

Management of the event, including establishing a risk assessment document, to comply with and maintain H+S standards required by Wellington City Council.



A publicity campaign to promote the event, works, and artist to the Wellington public, including press interviews, articles, etc. Creation and execution of a marketing plan including a poster and flier campaign.



The Presenter provides Public Liability Insurance for the event, this includes the Venue, Power Supply and Event Facilities outlined above. However this does not include performers' public liability insurance for The Artist. It is recommended that the Artist take out their own insurance for the course of the Arcade and The Presenter is happy to advise.


Creative leadership: 

Creative leadership of the overall event and curatorial development of individual works in collaboration with the Artist, to ensure a high profile and quality event.



Mentorship and assistance with fundraising, resourcing, and realisation of The Work.


Development workshops: 

Special events and workshops that help build community and communication between artists. Technical and planning assistance: Our team of experienced designers, constructionists and technicians will be available to offer advice and assistance in the planning and realisation of The Work.


Accommodation for International Artists:

Lodging will be sourced for international artists from billeted accommodation to AirBNB rentals. Returning artists are expected to arrange their own accommodation.


The Artist agrees to the following:


Providing advance documentation: 

Provide working drawings, timelines, artist planners, and publicity material to the Arcade by dates requested. (Deadlines and templates for information will be sent in advance).


Attend Arcade events: 

Attend The Performance Arcade 2025 opening night and other special events, wherever possible.


Attend artist workshops:

As outlined in the below wherever possible. The workshops are considered part of the curatorial process of developing Arcade works, and the artist agrees to participate on this basis.


Note 1: If the artist is unable to attend a significant number of workshops or cannot ensure the quality of their work then the Arcade reserves the right to withdraw their work from the programme.

Note 2: International artists, or artists from outside of Wellington unable to attend workshops, will be expected to communicate regularly with the Arcade to develop their work and provide material required for integration within the production, architecture, and marketing of the Arcade.


Curatorial development:

Develop a curatorial dialogue - through meetings and communication with Associate Director and Artistic Director - to realise The Work within the overall vision of the Arcade. (Please see the below curatorial statement.)



Funding and resourcing of The Work is the responsibility of The Artist.

The arcade will offer mentorship and assistance with fundraising, resourcing, and realisation of successful applications.


Pack-in and Pack-out: 

Be responsible for and available for the pack-in of their work in the Arcade, from 17-20 of February 2025, or 24-26 February 2025 for the second session. Pack out on 24 February for session one, all others from 3 March.


Maintain their work: 

Daily performance in, or operation of the work during the event from 21-23 Feb &/or 27 February - 2 March 2025, maintaining this state between 10am-10pm daily with appropriate breaks. For Waterfront Series and Live Lab Series artists, a schedule will be developed that best suits their works.


Health and Safety: 

Work with the Production Manager and Site Manager to create a risk assessment document and health and safety plan for The Work. Adhere to this plan as well as The Event's Health and Safety Policy and Safe Working Practices.


Intellectual Property and Rights: 

The Work shall remain the intellectual property of The Artist. The Artist grants The Presenter rights to gather, archive and publish documentation of The Work for the purpose of promotion of The Performance Arcade in future years.



The Artist agrees to assist in the promotion of the event through their own social media platforms and through attending press interviews and photo-shoots.


Curatorial Statement:

Arcade artists are selected on the quality of their proposals, and relevance to
The Performance Arcade's guiding principles and vision. In notification of their selection, artists will be informed of the aspects of their work that require development in order to be considered ready for presentation in the event. The artistic director and associate director will work with these artists through this process, helping prepare works for the Arcade, and developing a holistic vision for the overall event. The Presenter reserves the right to withdraw works from the Event if they consider it of a poor standard, unsafe, or unresolved. 

Applications are due by 5.00pm Friday 30th August 2024 (NZ time)

For queries contact: / + 64(0)210653992


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