Announcing Our New Executive Director

Our Board of Directors is delighted to announce that C.J. Opperthauser (pronouns: he/him/his) has been hired as the new Executive Director of Friends of Congress Square Park. C.J. started (remotely) at the beginning of the new year.

C.J. will be moving to Portland from Providence, Rhode Island, where he’s spent the past 6 years being heavily involved in the fields of placemaking, active transportation, and land use. After coordinating volunteers with WaterFire Providence, the famed art installation and beloved summertime event, he managed Grow Smart Rhode Island’s training program, was a CityWorks Fellow with DownCity Design, served as Events Chair on the board of directors of the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition, was a Programs Committee member of the Roger Williams Park Conservancy, and founded the pedestrian advocacy group WalkPVD. Through these roles, C.J. has served as a constant voice for safer, more vibrant, and more equitable public spaces and streets across the state.

C.J. grew up in Michigan and studied poetry at Central Michigan University, where he created and hosted an outdoor reading series, and Miami University in Ohio, where he also taught writing. His chapbook Cloud the Shape of Bedroom was published in 2016 by Tree Light Books, and he is a co-editor of the online literary publication Threadcount Magazine. While in Providence, C.J. helped execute many local public events, including the Providence Flea, Winter Lights Market, NecronomiCon, Jane’s Walk Providence, and Tour de Tentacle.

“I’ve visited Portland many times, and I’ve been consistently in awe of the array of dynamic, active public spaces peppered throughout the city,” C.J. says. “Congress Square Park has always been a favorite people-watching perch and spot to sip ridiculously good coffee, and I can’t overstate how thrilled and honored I am to be joining a team which has done so much good for the urban fabric of Portland and helped to cultivate community in this beloved public space. It’s truly a dream come true. I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the organization and enhancing our sustainability so that we can continue to provide this community with a vibrant place to enjoy the arts, grab a bite, and simply be together.”

 
Click here to write a note to C.J.

Interview with Chris Miller

Local artist Chris Miller developed Martha!, the final installation of the Friends of Congress Square Park Art In the Park series, FoCSP volunteer Julia Whyel had a remote interview with Chris to discuss his creative work.

Artist Statement:
This installation is an adaptation of an artist’s book that I’ve been working on called Martha!, after the last known surviving Passenger Pigeon who died in 1914. The exclamation point is both for emphasis and the notation of a factorial, which is used to express large numbers in permutations and statistics. 7! for example, is equal to 7*6*5*4*3*2*1, or 5,040. Before their unexpected decline and eventual extinction, Passenger Pigeons were astonishingly abundant. Each page of “Martha!” shows 1!, 2!, 3!, 4!, 5!, 6!, and 7! birds, absent in flight. It’s a meditation and a recitation of big goings on; an exponential buildup and reciprocal count-down to zero. It’s a testing-to-failure of my own, for one, severely limited human capacity to comprehend vast quantities, to perceive truth at any considerable distance, to register gradual change and to reconcile singular identity with group identity. It’s a prayer for the overwhelmed and the imperfectly informed. Guilty, and guilty. There is however in these troubled times something hopeful about a counting book beyond comprehension. Enormous issues are on the table right now. I can’t imagine how we might achieve something like a just society, but I do believe that it lies within the realm of possibility. Wonderful, horrific and anything in-between, inconceivable things can happen so fast.

How did you become interested in passenger pigeons?

Parenthood is a big influence in my practice these days. My son has a sprawling interest in prehistory, we were reading about pleistocene megafauna and that research thread led to a list of more recent extinctions. There have been a few but the passenger pigeon comes up most in pop culture. You see a lot of articles about it because they were so plentiful. I’ve found drawings and read anecdotal stories about how they used to darken the skies, some accounts say they flew by in clouds for days on end, the sun would go down and come back up, and the passenger pigeons would still be going by. Then they disappeared relatively quickly. Extinction isn’t a cheery topic, but a lot of us are thinking on that scale these days I think.

How else does parenthood affect your creative practice?

It’s all consuming, for my family at least. I’ve got two boys, aged four and seven, they’re interested in everything. I get excited about the things they’re excited about. A question like “hey papa, are there any volcanoes in Maine?” can lead to a summer vacation in an unexpected place. It’s great to see the world through their eyes, and a lot of elements of my work probably come from that. A big interest in play, natural history. Sometimes their questions are wonderful prompts, they ask the craziest questions.

How do you approach design differently for indoors versus outdoor public spaces?

The thing about my work, there’s no bread and butter. Every project has its own unique set of requirements. So usually when I do something, it’s almost always something I’ve never done before, which I get excited about. My process and my education both started with building, having a background in sculpture and work in the building industry as a laborer, it’s a different starting place. Part of what I love about any project, whether it’s a residential interior that’s got some really unusual features or an outdoor sculpture installation, is just figuring out how the materials work, how to build things right so they’re durable, but also testing those boundaries a little bit. I decided on the materials for Martha!, when I saw nylon scraps on the laser cutter at my makerspace Open Bench Project, so I guess community is important in figuring out how to design for durability and how to understand materials. 

Have your thoughts on public art changed at all this year?

It definitely has. My attitudes about it have shifted, in a visceral way. Experiences of quarantine and having those fears that we’ve all felt, especially in the early stages, got me thinking in different ways about what it should be and could be. That will keep evolving. But I had the urge to put a bunch of stuff out there, I had a creative burst and had the impulse to make things more deployable, less expensive. It’s got me thinking about what art can be out in the public sphere, especially in these challenging times.

You have a permanent installation in Bramhall Square on Congress Street, and that also has an animal element to it.

It’s a lot of the same material that inspired that. It features a lot of pleistocene megafauna like wooly mammoths, giant sloths, giant beaver. It’s a much different work, it’s an illustration, like an interpretive kiosk of the local history of the area. It’s drawn in charcoal in a pretty illustrative style and it’s captioned with a legend. It’s also an unusual use of materials, it’s a vinyl vehicle wrap printed from an original drawing to scale. 

What are the connections of design and technology in your practice?

Some areas I’m really interested in focusing on are housing, it’s a much different approach than public art, but a lot of the same challenges that come up in public art come up there. I practice architecture in a limited way, I’ve worked for architects. Housing has been a special interest of mine because it’s something in the built environment that incorporates so many other things through the lens of domesticity. It’s also a problematic thing these days, we live in this incredibly overheated housing market, we have an enormous population of unhoused people, I’d like the opportunity to focus a lot more on those problems going forward. 

Before Martha! was an installation, it was and is a book project, can you talk about the book and the potential of doing a printing?

This goes back to my kids being my conspirators, it is a counting book. I’m not sure exactly when the project started but it was in the early days of quarantine when everybody was having a rollercoaster of emotions. I was doom scrolling, worrying, being up late at night trying to get my head around all these things, around the numbers that were in the news. The mortality rates, the numbers of people marching in the Black Lives Matter protests. These huge, extremely consequential numbers everywhere, and the numbers kept changing and eventually they disappeared from your consciousness, these numbers started to flatten out into ‘big’ and ‘bad’. So Martha! was a counting book of enormously consequential numbers. It was an accordion book first, my hope is to cut a small edition and sell them with half the proceeds going to a worthy cause. I almost arbitrarily picked the Good Shepard Food Bank because when we were installing the piece in Congress Square Park I saw one of their vans pull up and they handed out meals. I know they’re serving the unhoused community in Congress Square Park, and it seems like it would be a fitting thing to try and support their activities. 

Stay up to date with Chris Miller’s work at New Paradigm Workshop and on Instagram

photo: Chris Miller

*Martha! was deinstalled ahead of schedule due to damage from last week’s windstorm.

We miss you! But, we’ll see you soon.

For the past 6 years, April has been a month of great anticipation in Congress Square Park. Each year, our dedicated park volunteers come together after the cold winter months to wipe away the winter grime, clean out the flower beds, and get the Park ready for the upcoming season of art, eating, movie-watching, gardening, dancing, lounging, and above all — gathering with our friends and neighbors. 

This April, we have found ourselves in uncharted territory as all of us deal with stay-at-home orders, homeschooling, isolation, and threats to our health and livelihoods. 

As a result, Friends of Congress Square Park has decided to cancel all scheduled events at least through the end of June. We are also postponing the return of amenities like tables, adirondack chairs, and benches, likely until the end of June as well. We will work closely with the City of Portland and the Parks Department to determine when it is safe to bring back  amenities and resume programming. 

We know that for many of you, the Park is your outdoor living room and urban oasis. While the Park won’t be quite as colorful at least for the beginning of the season, we are committed to keeping the Park clean and working on the gardens so there will be natural beauty and color to brighten your day as you pass by or step outside for fresh air. 

Together, over the past 6 years, we have created a beloved community gathering place – a place where neighbors can feel engaged and have fun. We’ve shown that well managed public spaces are essential for our mental and physical well-being, and that vibrant public places promote equity, improve community resilience, and strengthen local economies. The current physical isolation and business shut-down reinforces all of these lessons.

While we are forced to hit pause on our 2020 programming, please know that we are thinking about you and that you are not alone. We hope that the friendships and memories you have made in the Park will help to sustain you during this difficult time.  We will be working on ways to bring some of those memories, art experiences, and social connections to you through social media over the coming weeks, so please stay tuned.  

We will continue to work behind the scenes to plan for future programming and expand our organization’s capacity.  Above all, we commit to continuing to care for this gem at the heart of our city so that it is ready to welcome us all back together as soon as it is safe to do so.  Until then, thank you for being part of our park community.

Thanks for a great 2019 season!

Thanks for a great Anniversary!

We celebrated an excellent 5 year anniversary as an organization with our 6th full season. What did we love?

  • More volunteers engaged!
  • More events!
  • Artists from lots of different backgrounds bringing art that represented their culture and their passions!
  • Temporary art through collaborations with Maine College of Art and Still Life Studio!
  • More seating, and more lush gardens!
  • Delicious snacks thanks to a collaboration with Fork Food Lab!
  • And more!

Click here to see a PDF version of the 2019 Season Overview!

We’re grateful to our many collaborators, including partners like Portland Summer Films, Portland Swing Project, New Moon Ensemble, Fork Food Lab, Waking Windows, SPACE, Yellow Tulip Project, Monday of the Minds, The Way We Move, Portland Intown Contra Dance, PM Salsa with Primo Cubano, Pickwick Independent Press, Make Music Portland, Maine Academy of Music, Figures of Speech Theater, 2Sheets Theater, Somali Mainers’ Youth Network, Maine Initiatives, Portland Downtown, and the many other organizations, teachers and performers who brought their skills and diverse offerings to the Square

In addition to our programming, our colorful amenities and free Wi-Fi attracted visitors during other times of the day to read, eat, create, meet with friends, or relax in an urban oasis. Since its inception, FoCSP’s creative placemaking has drawn well over 130,000 estimated visitors to the park.

Our park stewards and volunteers generously gave their time and effort to ensure that the park stayed beautiful, safe, and lively throughout the whole season. More than 3,125 hours of volunteer time was invested last season.

Funding for our 2019 season was also provided in part by critical investments by Diversified Communications, the Horizon Foundation, Old Bug Light Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, Op Box, Portland Container Company, Portland Downtown, Coffee by Design, and our generous Season Hosts.

We couldn’t have had such a successful season without generous commitment from our performers and partners, stewards,  funders and sponsors, donors, audience members, and YOU – in all the ways you gave. We are so very appreciative to all of you!

See you in our 2020 season, which starts in May!

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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!

 

Volunteer Spotlight- Richard!

Meet Richard, this week’s volunteer spotlight!

Richard began volunteering with Congress Square Park this year and was the first to arrive on our annual Spring Clean Up day! Since that first volunteer day, Richard has helped immensely with gardening, building the new garden bed, putting up signage and helping at events, as well as coming by the park multiple times a day to sweep.

When asked why he chooses to volunteer, he said. “ You can either pick your tombstone or you can do something. So I do something and I happen to like it!” After retiring from being a laborer Richard was looking for a way to spend his time doing something meaningful and was encouraged by other volunteers living in his building to get in touch.

Richard lives right next door to the Park and thus gives it the love and care he would for his own backyard. He wakes up each morning to his cat, Kit, thinking that 3AM is hunting time. Though he was born in St. Albans, Vermont, Richard chooses to live in Portland to nurture his love for the ocean. He often walks down to the harbor to smell the sea and occasionally takes boat tours of the Casco Bay Islands.

Richard has been such a wonderful addition to the volunteer crew this year. Thank you for your steady and willing presence in the Square!

To meet Richard and other awesome volunteers in the park, check out one of our upcoming events here: http://congresssquarepark.org/events/

And to learn more about volunteering with us check out: http://congresssquarepark.org/volunteer/ OR contact: <volunteer@congresssquarepark.org>

Volunteer Spotlight- Amy!

Meet Amy, this week’s volunteer spotlight!

Amy’s volunteering began when she started attending FoCSP operations meetings shortly after starting to work for Portland Downtown in 2016. Amy serves as the Program Director at Portland Downtown which supports cleanliness and safety in the community which means her work is directly linked to the goings on in the park.

She describes her evolution into more volunteering by saying, “After getting to know board members, staff, and other volunteers, I wanted to do more. In addition to the operations meetings, I helped early this season with planting and weeding in the park, and I assist other volunteers with park set-up each week – cleaning tables, arranging tables and chairs, picking up trash, etc.” Her handy work in the park each week is part of what keeps it an inviting and vibrant space!

Her favorite part about volunteering is meeting community members in the park! She finds that while relaxing or volunteering in the park, she always sees someone she knows or gets to make a new friend! The phenominal familiarity of the space reminds us that though Portland may feel increasingly urban, it still holds the charms of small town interconnectedness and interactions. Amy tells a tory that is a great example of this.

“While gardening in the park, I met a woman who turned out to be a yoga colleague’s mother (I’m a yoga student and teacher). Portland is such a small town!”

In Amy’s perfect day, she makes time to be in Portland’s pockets of nature to rejuvenate. She enjoys any of the downtown’s ten public parks, the Longfellow House garden, or by enjoying 70 miles of trails and green space supported by Portland Trails.

Amy is such a warm and cheerful presence in the Portand community and we are so lucky to have her as a volunteer! Thank you, Amy. WE APPRECIATE YOU!

To meet Amy and other awesome volunteers in the park, stop by one of our upcoming events here: http://congresssquarepark.org/events/

And to learn more about volunteering with us check out: http://congresssquarepark.org/volunteer/ OR contact: <volunteer@congresssquarepark.org>

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!

 

MECA Student Sculpture featured throughout May!

Student artist Justin Love will install a sculpture “Woman + Snake” in Congress Square Park this May thanks to a partnership between Friends of Congress Square Park (FoCSP) and Maine College of Art (MECA), and with the support of the Portland Public Art Committee. Standing at 8 feet and made of painted plywood, the piece is the second student installation in the Square in two years. Both FoCSP and MECA hope this is the start of a more regular display of student-made temporary public art pieces in 2019 and beyond.

According to the artist’s statement, “Woman + Snake” is “made in honor of the women from Love’s life who have found ways to flourish under heavy oppression.” The piece was made by Love while studying Studio Art and Sculpture in MECA’s graduate program.

Love moved to Portland from Jackson, Mississippi last June to study at MECA. The artist says having the opportunity for mentorship throughout the process has been invaluable. “The opportunity to have my work displayed for Portland to see is a huge gift,” said Love. “I know Portland to be a city that loves art, and being so heartily welcomed into that fold and celebrated has made me very grateful and happy. I’m appreciative of the Friends of Congress Square Park and MECA for the invaluable support they have provided along the way.”

“We’re committed to being a venue where both new and established artists can experiment feel welcome,” says Dela Murphy, Executive Director of Friends of Congress Square Park. “This program is a way to provide emerging artists with the support they need to bring their work into the public realm successfully, perhaps for the first time. Hopefully, seeing work like this in spaces we share will encourage other emerging artists, too. We’re grateful to MECA for making this possible.”

Joshua Reiman, Assistant Professor of the MFA in Studio Art and Sculpture at MECA, advises Love. “The Friends of Congress Square Park have been extremely generous in providing a public platform for visual culture by mentoring our students through the process of producing works in the park for the past two years,” says Reiman. “It is so rewarding to see young artists who are able to articulate their ideas out in public through the generosity of our neighbors in Congress Square Park. This experience for our students is invaluable, and we look forward to continuing this wonderful collaboration for years to come.”

Friends of Congress Square Park is the nonprofit place manager of Congress Square Park. Established in 2013, FoCSP seeks to build community and to create a vibrant public gathering place through community-led creative placemaking. FoCSP presents a season of more than 150 free public arts events from May through October of every year, offers public amenities like seating an free wifi, and engages volunteers in stewardship. They are celebrating their 5thanniversary this season.

Founded in 1882, the Maine College of Art is the oldest arts educational institution in Maine. The school delivers a transformative learning experience within an intimate and demanding educational environment by preparing students in the areas of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.

An opening for “Woman + Snake” is planned in Congress Square Park during the First Friday Art Walk on May 3, 2019, from 4-8pm. That evening, the public can also enjoy the opening night festivities for FoCSP’s season, featuring a public dialogue on social justice topics hosted by MECA students at 4pm and a performance of “Are We Great Yet?” by Circus Ole at 6pm.

“Woman + Snake” will be on public view in Congress Square Park throughout the month of May.

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.

Welcome our new Seasonal Volunteer Coordinator!

Meet Gretta Buckley!

Friends of Congress Square Park has hired a seasonal Volunteer Coordinator, Gretta Buckley. Gretta brings a wealth of experience working with people of all ages- from infants to elders. Gardening and writing, media management and dance — she’s as eclectic as our programming.

Gretta will be working with us to recruit, train and place volunteers this season. If you’re interested in being a park steward or team volunteer, reach out to Gretta at volunteer (at) congresssquarepark.org!

We asked Gretta what she was looking forward to in her new role. She said, “I am really excited to gain the perspectives of a wide range of people and work with them to find ways to make a beautiful place even more inviting for all! I love to create space that has arms wide open, and volunteers are a foundation of creating that space. I’m humbled to be a part of that.”

As to favorite experiences in parks, she cherishes memories of rolling down a big hill of a local park in her home town with her sister. “Oh the freedom! Oh the grass stains!” she recalled.

Sitting in a park in Burlington, Vermont where the Farmers Market was hosted was another memory. “In the center of the park there was a fountain still empty of water from the winter. I sat with a bouquet of flowers and some delicious sugar snap peas and watched the flow of hundreds of people making their way through the farmers market in t-shirts and shorts despite the fact that it was only 60 degrees. It felt like everyone had come out to dawn their “I survived winter, it is now officially spring” badges. It felt like a celebration! Being able to sit alone and enjoy personal silence while being surrounded by a lot of happy people, just glad to be outside and flowing around others makes me smile.”

Meet Gretta in the Square from May through September. Or reach out to her here now to volunteer!

 

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) congresssquarepark.org.

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!

Questions?

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 TVM@portlandmaine.gov.

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 <dela@congresssquarepark.org>.

 

<2019 Form Closed>