Open Call for 2018 Program Submissions

Update: Open Call for 2018 Season Closed January 31, 2018!

Great thanks to everyone who submitted an event idea for the 2018 In the Square season! The Open Call submission period ended January 31, 2018. Our team will review the entries and be in touch with folks who expressed interest in February 2018. Expect to hear about this season’s schedule in April!

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

For details on how the 2018 Open Call process worked, see our post below.


If you’re a performer, artist, teacher, or organization who has an idea, we want to hear from you!

Music, art interactions or instruction, theater, puppetry, sing-a-longs, civic engagement, history and heritage, films… what are you up to? We welcome your idea!

This is an incredible and unique opportunity to bring your artistic vision and talents into the public realm. As a high quality arts venue and generous public space, we strive to present a variety of events that speak both to the diverse creative expression alive in our city and to what resonates with our community’s aspirations for our shared spaces. Contribute to the activation of Congress Square Park and the vitality of Portland, Maine’s public art scene!

Your event idea can be one-time only, weekly activities, or something in between.

In 2018, we’d love to see submissions from newcomers to In the Square, especially those who are offering programming that reveals types of art, music or cultural practices that are not often seen in free public venues. We also welcome daytime programming that fosters engagement with the arts for kids, families and elders, and civic engagement for everyone.

Submissions will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Event discipline: Our goal is to present lots of different types 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, expression, and interaction with others.
  • 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.
  • Events that expand what’s offered: We’re specifically interested in weekly or monthly daytime events for children/families and seniors, as well as one-time or event series that highlight civic engagement and innovation, cultural expressions from Portland’s immigrant groups, improv/comedy, puppetry, theater and interactive arts, including arts instruction.

Here’s how it works:

  • We will accept submissions until midnight on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
  • Complete the form below to apply. Be prepared to provide a high-quality image for promotional use and
  • In early February, our Audience Engagement Committee will review the submissions and select the line-up. You’ll hear from us then!
  • Should you be selected, we’ll confirm timing, stipend details, marketing, and logistical needs.
  • In the Square programming will be hosted in the park from May through October 2018.

By submitting an idea through this open call, you’re applying to be part of the regular In the Square programming through Friends of Congress Square Park. This means that, should you be selected, you would be eligible to receive a stipend, be part of FoCSP’s event promotions, and be covered under FoCSP’s permit and insurance. Should your event require amplified sound or other AV, note that FoCSP provides a technician, sound system, projector, and screen.

Congress Square Park is a public space. If you prefer not to be sponsored by FoCSP, you’re always welcome to apply for a permit directly from the City of Portland Event office at

The 2018 submission period ended January 31, 2018. Thanks for creating an inspired place with us!

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