September/October Printable Calendar Available

The season isn’t over yet!

What’s notable in September and October?

  • First Friday Art Walk in September features our first ever fashion show! Jacob Powers and a cadre of artists will bring style and art to the Square.
  • October’s Art Walk will feature a dance party with El Malo–contemporary Latin-Rock with a robust horn section.
  • September 27 & 28 are a double-feature of international talent, with an arts showcase and a full day of intercultural events.
  • Pumpkins in the Square is back this October, an event the whole family will enjoy immensely – pumpkin carving, live folk music, snacks and more…
  • So much more!

Click here to open a printable version of the September & October calendar!


August Printable Calendar Available

Join us to celebrate our 5-year anniversary in August!

What’s notable this month?

  • We’ll be hosting a big block party called the “5 Year Supper” to celebrate our anniversary! Come from 6-8pm on August 31 for food, music, dancing and more!
  • August 24 brings the first ever Portland Social Dance Festival, featuring New Moon Ensemble, Danza Latina, Portland Swing Project and others. And it all kicks off the night of Friday, August 23 from 6-8 with Salsa Night featuring Primo Cubano and PM Salsa.
  • Great music performances including Ikirenga cy’Intore Rwandan percussion, “Ideas, Not Theories” bicycle band, and “The Portland Hum” drone music.
  • This is the last month of the weekly Saturday Snack Shop with sweet and savory treats from Fork Food Lab (visit the painted OpBox in the Square to check it out!)
  • So much more!

Click here to view a printable version of the August calendar!


July Printable Calendar Available!

July is jam packed!

What’s notable in July? Well, you’ll get to enjoy:

  • More weekly wellness offerings – including Nia and Zumba!
  • The weekly Saturday Snack Shop with sweet and savory treats from Fork Food Lab (visit the painted OpBox in the Square to check it out!)
  • Really special events like the opening of Pianos in the Square (come play a public piano every day this month) and the Social Justice Street Fair
  • Portland Summer Films every Sunday at dusk
  • Soooo much more!

Click here to download a printable version of the July calendar!


Printable June Calendar Available!

June is jam packed!

What’s notable in June? Well, you’ll get to enjoy:

  • More weekly wellness offerings – including Nia and Zumba!
  • The brand new weekly Saturday Snack Shop with sweet and savory treats from Fork Food Lab (visit the painted OpBox in the Square to check it out!)
  • Really special events like the First Friday Art Walk sound and puppetry installation by Sea Level & The Memorial Skylight featuring Figures of Speech Theater
  • The new Open City nights every Wednesday, artful opportunities to learn about important issues in our community and share your thoughts
  • Portland Summer Films every Sunday at dusk
  • Soooo much more!

Click here to see a printable version of our June 2019 Calendar!


Our 5th Anniversary Season Begins!

Our 2019 Season Starts this May!

Friends of Congress Square Park is celebrating our 5th anniversary – and we have an artistic and varied season of over 150 free public arts and community life events for you to enjoy. Come alone, or bring friends and family!

Our opening night will be hosted May 3, 2019 and will feature a performance with Circus Olé from 6-8pm. Regular programming will be hosted through October 2019.

See the full 2019 Season Calendar here:

Thank you to our Season Sponsors, who include: Diversified Communications, The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel, Norman Hanson & DeTroy, Maine Arts Commission, Portland Container Company and OpBox.

Open Call: Perform for Portland in 2019!

Update: Open Call for 2019 Season Closed January 31, 2019!

Great thanks to everyone who submitted an event idea for the 2019 In the Square season! The Open Call submission period ended January 31, 2019. Our team will review the entries and be in touch with folks who expressed interest in February 2019.

We’ll share details about the coming season by April 2019. To be the first to know, sign up for our mailing list!

If you have questions or would like to host an event of your own in Congress Square Park, please get in touch with our Executive Director, Dela Murphy, at dela (at)

For details on how the 2019 Open Call process worked, see our post below.


Bring your idea to life in Congress Square Park in 2019!

You’ve got passion and skill. We’ve got the perfect venue.

Each year, Friends of Congress Square Park hosts around two hundred events that highlight our very creative neighbors- folks just like you! To program these events, we host an Open Call every January. (Yep – this Open Call right here!)

A team of community members then comb through submissions lovingly and create a calendar of events that feature an array of different types of events (like music, puppetry, theater, circus arts, civic education, gardening, dance, film, and so much more!). These events are produced by artists, teachers and organizations that represent lots of different backgrounds and experience levels. In 2019, that In the Square calendar will look something like this:

Fridays from May through September: Square Block Parties! – Party nights! Featuring things like music, dance, circus arts, food, theater performances, comedy, puppetry, story-telling, etc. The more interactive the better!

Wednesdays from June through August: Open City Nights! – Unpredictable, jolly and distinct events about community life. We’ll cover questions like “How does that thing work?” “Who are my neighbors?” “Are we engaged in the decision making processes?” “Do we have the power and information we need to affect change?” “Are our needs and hopes being met?” and “Well, what do we all want, anyway?!”

Weekends from May through September: Festivals and Films! – We often feature longer events on weekends like festivals that highlight food, dance and music, art-making and crafts, social justice, etc. And films are our favorites for Sunday nights.

Weekdays from May through September: Community Series! – These community-building events often happen weekly or monthly. In the past, these looked like wellness classes, clubs like chess or knitting, art instruction, gardening, and other fun stuff.


So you want to submit an idea? Yes!

Here’s how it works:

  • We will accept submissions until midnight EST on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
  • Complete the form below to apply. Be prepared to provide a high-quality image for promotional use, a bio and event description. Your idea could fit into any of the “themes” noted above – – or not fit at all! We’re really interested in what you’re interested in. 🙂
  • You’ll hear from us in February. Our team will review the submissions, select the line-up of presenters and get in touch with everyone who submitted. Should you be selected, we’ll confirm timing, stipend details, marketing, and logistical needs.
  • Performances start in Spring! In the Square programming will be hosted in the park from May through October 2018.


Representation matters.

It’s very important to us that the folks offering events in the Square are reflective of all of our neighbors. Congress Square Park is a public space that belongs to all of us – and that everybody includes you!


Here are our top answers:

  • Congress Square Park is an outdoor venue and performances in the park are always free and open to the public.
  • If you’re selected, you become eligible to receive a stipend, be part of FoCSP’s event promotions, and be covered under FoCSP’s event permit at no cost. FoCSP has liability insurance, but we recommend you have your own, too. (It’s just good practice!)
  • Should your event require amplified sound or other AV, note that FoCSP provides a technician. We also offer a sound system, projector, and screen at no fee to selected performers.
  • Sometimes we need to say no. If you’re not selected, we’ll let you know. It simply means we received a ton of awesome applications and don’t have the budget for everyone. And! You can still host your own event in the Square – you’re always welcome to apply for a permit directly from the City of Portland Event office at

Submit by January 31, 2019!

This open call lasts from January 1 through 31, 2019. Get those ideas in fast!

More questions?

Get in touch with our Executive Director, Dela Murphy, at <>.


<2019 Form Closed>

The 2018 “In the Square” season begins!

What’s on in 2018?

We have over 200 free public events and activities planned for you this season!

Download a copy of our season calendar here, or drop by the park starting Friday, May 4th to pick up a copy from our sidewalk sandwich board or during one of our events.

Expect regularly scheduled events every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings, weekly daytime activities, plus occasional weekdays and weekends. Come visit us!


Thank you to our season sponsors!

Friends like YOU!

Business Sponsors

Partners and Supporters



Open Call for 2017 Programming Ideas!

***The submissions period for 2017 is now closed. Thank you to all who applied!***

We’re excited to announce that our open call for In the Square programming submissions is live for the 2017 season!  We will accept submissions until midnight on Tuesday, January 31st. Please complete the form below to apply. 

If you have an idea for an event or activity in 2017, we want to hear from you! We’re looking to present a diverse mix of programming next year – from music, films and theatre to dances, engaging art interactions, and sing-alongs. They can be one-time only events, weekly activities or something in between. In February, our Programming Committee will review the submissions and select the line-up for FoCSP’s 2017 In The Square series which will run from May through October.  

Submissions will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Event discipline: Our goal is to present a wide variety of events & activities during our season.
  • Target audience & engagement: We strive to reach varied audiences, increase engagement with the arts, and provide opportunities for discovery, play and expression.
  • Professionalism and ability to expand park users: We appreciate programming partners who can introduce their communities to our community through their own promotional channels.
  • Mix of emerging and established artists: From first time performer to seasoned performer, our goal is to foster and support local artists at all stages of their careers.

Please note: Congress Square Park is a public space, so if you prefer not to be sponsored by FoCSP under our In the Square event series, you are always welcome to apply for an event permit directly from the City of Portland Event Office at But, submitting an idea through our open call gives you the potential to be part of our event series and, if selected, to receive a stipend and be part of FoCSP’s event promotions.

How did we do? Take our quick event survey.

From May through October 2016, FoCSP presented 162 free arts events & activities, featuring 415 artists and performers, and drawing an estimated 13,500 people! FoCSP also collaborated with 23 local arts and educational organizations. Our diverse programming included a wide range of live music, such as salsa, swing, reggae, contemporary chamber, blue grass, and African drumming, as well as modern dance, contra dances, Shakespeare theater, kitten therapy, local short films, Tai Chi Chih classes, classic films, an international calligraphy event, zodiac yoga, literary readings, a printmaking fair, knitting and coloring groups, a pumpkin carving contest, and more.

As we plan our 2017 event season, we’re looking for feedback from park visitors on last year’s event season. What events and activities did you like the most?  What would you like to see more of? Less of? How did you hear about events?

Please take 3 minutes to complete our 2016 events & activities survey and help us continue to provide engaging programming for the entire community to enjoy!

    Check all that apply.
    Check all that apply
  • If "other", please tell us the types of events you'd enjoy seeing in the park.
    check all that apply.
  • Your opinion matters to us! Please let us know if you have any other feedback on the FoCSP sponsored events and activities.
  • Are you interested in volunteering at an event or helping to organize events or activities? If so, give us your email and phone number and we'll be in touch!

ICELANDx207: Container comes to the Square!

The FoCSP are pleased to host ICELANDx207: Container a multimedia installation by Portland Photographer Justin Levesque.  ICELANDx207: Container documents Iceland’s recent entry into Maine’s waterfront and economy via the Icelandic steamship company, Eimskip.
On view September 27 through October 12, the exhibition will be housed in an Eimskip shipping container installed temporarily in Congress Square Park. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
In September 2015, Levesque spent nine days on board the MV Selfoss, an Eimskip container ship traveling from Portland to Iceland, part of their Green Line shipping route. ICELANDx207: Container is the record of that voyage. Using photography and podcasts, Levesque chronicled life aboard the ship with portraits of the all-Icelandic crew and images of the revitalized and bustling International Marine Terminal in Portland. In a nine-episode podcast ICELANDx207: Green Line, Levesque conducts interviews with the crew and shares his day-to-day experiences traveling on the North Atlantic Ocean.
Levesque describes Eimskip’s Green Line as “the invisible thread that connects our two cities, countries, cultures and economies.”
ICELANDx207: Container is on view in conjunction with the 2016 Arctic Council, an international conference dedicated to economic development in the Arctic region. Hosted by the Maine North Atlantic Development Office, the event takes place at the adjacent Westin Portland Harborview from October 4 through 6, 2016. For more information, visit
Levesque has received grants from the Maine Arts Commission and SPACE Gallery’s Kindling Fund to support the project. Levesque’s North Atlantic endeavors will continue in 2017, when he sails through the Arctic for four weeks in June as part of The Arctic Circle residency program. The Arctic Circle brings together international artists of all disciplines as well as scientists, architects, and educators to collectively explore remote and fascinating destinations aboard the Antigua, a barquentine Tall Ship sailing vessel.
About Justin Levesque: 
Justin Levesque is a 2010 graduate of the University of Southern Maine, where he received a BFA in photography, specializing in the critical analysis of images and their impact on social norms and community expectations. Levesque lives in Portland and has his own design studio, Shop Geometry. He also serves on the board for the Hemophilia Alliance of Maine and runs a group of programs called FOLX that celebrate arts, creativity, and visual literacy in the bleeding disorders community.
For more information about the exhibition, visit ICELANDx207:
Important Links: 
ICELANDx207: Green Line Podcast:
or search #ICELANDx207
Justin Levesque – Artist Website:

July Calendar of Events & Activities

Download the July Calendar of Events & Activities here.

FoCSP brings you another great month of diverse events and activities!  From steel drums to classical, from African drumming to salsa, from swing to contra to belly dancing, to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, we’ve got something for everyone and plenty of reasons to come back to the park over and over again!

This month also continues Wednesday morning Tai Chi Chih/Qigong @ 10am and Robin’s Zodiac Yoga on Thursdays @7am.  Plus, 4H Summer of Science Aquaculture for kids on Thursdays from 11-noon.

Be there or be square!