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The Performance Arcade announces its open call to artists from Aotearoa and around the world for its 2022 programme of works (open from17-27 February). Also, for the first time ever, over the month of July... we will be running a nationwide series of wānanga for public and artists interested in our event.

The Performance Arcade is an annual exhibition and festival programme of events located on Wellington Waterfront, with ten years of successful presentations from 2011-2021. Our hybrid gallery/stage architecture is made from an assembly of shipping containers that 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 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.

In order to help artists understand the event and develop their proposals for PA2022, we will be running open wānanga at locations across Aotearoa: in Wellington, Porirua, Dunedin, Christchurch, Whanganui, Hastings, Auckland, and South Auckland. We will also run a Zoom session for artists outside these regions or living overseas. Artists will have the opportunity to talk with the curatorial team about their ideas at these events, and we will present information on The Performance Arcade.

4 July – 3pm


Pātaka Art + Museum,

17 Parumoana St

5 July – 5.30pm


Toi Pōneke Arts Centre,

61/69 Abel Smith St

7 July – 5pm


Dunedin Fringe Office,

26 Princes St

9 July – 5.30pm



Christchurch Art Centre,

2 Worcester Blvd

16 July – 1pm


Whanganui Arts Centre,

19 Taupo Quay


24 July – 3pm


Hastings Community Art Gallery,

106 Russell St

31 July – 10am


Old Folks Association,

8 Gundry St, Newton

31 July – 3pm


Māngere Art Centre,

Bader Drive/Orly Ave

4 Aug

Special ZOOM wānanga

10am NZ time

(8am in Melbourne, 6pm the day before in New York,11pm the day before in London)

Please email the to RSVP and register for this event.



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 (17-20 Feb), SESSION 2 (23-27 Feb), or BOTH SESSIONS.

3 SUPPORT: The presenting company for the event is The Playground NZ, who provides ‘umbrella’ management and resources for the selected works. This support includes container hire and delivery, exterior architecture, engineering, 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 event.

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$500-$2000.

5 PROCESS: A series of meetings, workshops and presentation opportunities will run from September 2021 until the opening of the Arcade. These help develop the curatorial vision, builds a collaborative community, and helps us rehearse or prepare for the event together.

6 EXPECTATIONS: It is a condition of inclusion in The Performance Arcade 2022 that selected artists attend all programmed workshops and meetings, are available to set-up their work from 14-17 February, and can supervise their work while it is being presented. Artists presenting in the second session only (23-27 Feb) will set up from 21-22 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 event. With the logistics involved in bringing a work from overseas we welcome early submissions and enquiries from artists outside NZ.

8 COVID 19: We welcome proposals by artists outside of the Australia/NZ bubble and will be able to help with visas. However, we expect artists to cover the costs of managed isolation and quarantine in accordance with NZ travel restrictions. Artists will also be required to present plans for presenting their work if events would prevent them from travelling to NZ.



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, or for our ‘Stagespace’.

  3. Contact phone number/s and email addresses.

  4. Personnel Involved: please include bios for your team

  5. Synopsis of proposed work (500 words )

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

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

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

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

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

  11. COVID management plan: how you would present the work if unable to travel to NZ.


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 27 August 2022 (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 is curated by Sam Trubridge (artistic director) and Graham Frost (associate director) working with a selection panel comprised of NZ artists, producers, and curators.


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.


To apply, please fill in this form and upload your proposal document here. Thanks!


23 June        PROPOSALS OPEN FOR PA2022

                     PA2022 WĀNANGA

4 July            Porirua, Pātaka Art + Museum, 17 Parumoana St – 3pm

5 July            Wellington, Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, 61/69 Abel Smith St – 5.30pm
7 July            Ōtepoti, Dunedin Fringe Office, 26 Princes St – 5pm
8 July            Ōtautahi, MakerSpace, Christchurch Arts Centre – 5.30pm
16 July          Whanganui, Whanganui Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay – 1pm
24 July          Hawkes Bay, Hastings Community Art Gallery – 3pm

31 July          Auckland, Old Folks Association, 8 Gundry St, Newton – 10am
31 July          South Auckland, Māngere Art Centre, Bader Drive – 3pm

4 Aug            Special ZOOM wānanga at 10am NZ time (8am in Melbourne,
                     6pm the day before in New York, 11pm the day before in London).
                     RSVP/Register here:


16 Oct          Artist Workshop #1
16 Oct          Programme launch event

27 Nov         Artist Workshop #2

21 Jan          Artist Workshop #3

4 Feb            Artist Workshop #4

7-11 Feb       Pack-in / set up architecture and infrastructure
12-13 Feb     Preview weekend
13 Feb          Artist welcome and Preview Picnic
14-17 Feb     Artist set up, installation, and rehearsals

17 Feb          THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2022 opening night, 5-11pm

17-20 Feb     THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2022 SESSION 1, 10am-11pm

21-22 Feb     Change-over works from Session 1 to Session 2

23-27 Feb     THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE 2022 SESSION 1, 10am-11pm

28 Feb          Artists pack down


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 2022 (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 / StageSpace: 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 flyer 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 2022 Launch 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 below curatorial statement.


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

Pack-in and Pack-out:

Be responsible for and available for the pack-in of their work in the Arcade, from 114-17 February, or 21-22 February for the second session. Pack out on 21 February for session one, all others from 28 February, 2022.

Maintain their work:

Daily performance in, or operation of the work during the event from 17-27 February 2022, maintaining this state between 10am-10pm daily with appropriate breaks. For Waterfront 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 principals 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. 

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