Before making your application please carefully read the proposal guidelines below.
Applications are due by midnight, Friday 6th November 2020.


The Performance Arcade features numerous forms of performance presentation including performance art,  live music, installation, social sculpture, dance, and roaming works. Works are installed inside shipping containers, along Wellington waterfront and throughout the city. Live music takes place on our stage space, located at the Performance Arcade site behind Te Papa. 

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

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 (not relevant to stage and music)

  • Overall feasibility of proposal

  • Contribution to the philosophy of the Arcade


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

Artists can present in their own shipping container, provided by the event. We also invite proposals that do not need a container, that may use various waterfront and city environments for their performance.

For artists in shipping containers they can choose to present over Week #1 (18-21 Feb), Week #2 (24-28 Feb), or over both those weeks. Other works using waterfront and city environments can be programmed in any way that suits the artist.


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.


A series of meetings, workshops and presentation opportunities will run from November 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.

It is a condition of inclusion in The Performance Arcade 2021 that selected artists attend all programmed workshops and meetings, are available to set-up their work from 16-18 February, and can attend the Arcade while their work is open. Artists presenting in the second session only (27 Feb - 1 March) will set up from 22-23 February.

The Arcade will be open from 10am – 11pm each day. It is expected that every container work must remain open or active throughout this time.  

The event will be presented over two sessions:

WEEK ONE, 18-21 February
WEEK TWO, 24-28 February


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$500-$4000


The standard dimensions of a single shipping container are:

INTERIOR, width 2352mm, height 2395mm, length 5898mm;
EXTERIOR, width 2440mm, height 2600mm, length 6058mm.

You can specify containers with open-sides, alterations, or doors on both ends. There are also 12m long containers and short 3m ones. 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.


For 2021 our programming will extend out from the Arcade and across the waterfront space, activating spaces throughout Wellington City. We invite submissions for works along the length of the waterfront, from Wellington Railway Station to Oriental Bay, or in another site-specific city contexts. These may involve interventions that use mobile performance, social sculpture, and the 'hacking' of occupation of urban systems to produce new experiences. The Performance Arcade will provide all signage and wayfinding for works presented in this way.

The proposal process involves two steps:

  1. Complete a proposal document to the specifications below.

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


Proposal Document Specifications

  • Name of proposed work

  • State clearly if you are submitting a work for a shipping container, for the waterfront, or the city environment

  • Contact Phone

  • Email address

  • Website

  • Personnel Involved: please include bios for your team

  • Synopsis of proposed work (500 words)

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

  • A technical inventory (all electrical devices and accessories)

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

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

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

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