As Governors Island nears the end of another season (the Island is open to the public through October 31st), they are already preparing for next year. Today, The Trust for Governors Island is announcing that 150,000-square-feet inside of the historic former officers’ homes will be awarded to non-profit organizations. This will be for the 2019 season, and beyond, and anyone interested can apply as of today through their open call for proposals. A public programming element is required to qualify.

According to The Trust, the free space will be awarded to organizations working in the arts, culture, education and environmental science.

Organizations and non-profits are invited to propose public programming during Governors Island’s 2019 season and beyond, including exhibitions, workshops, performances, film screenings, talks and more. The Island’s platform for public programming positions Governors Island as a citywide resource for emerging arts, cultural and educational organizations to engage and share their work in front of a diverse and growing audience. Starting today, the Trust will accept both season-long and multi-year proposals for indoor space beginning with the 2019 public season which runs May 1- October 31.

This is not a new opportunity, The Trust has been opening up these homes to the public for years, however, a rep tells us that this year the opportunity for organizations to access free exhibition space will be a multi-year deal, whereas "in the past we’ve just given seasonal permits."

Are you qualified? As an example, here's who visitors saw this year through this program: the 4heads Governors Island Art Fair, NYC Audubon, Holocenter’s Center for Holographic Arts, the New-York Historical Society, NYC Poetry Festival, Escaping Time: Art from US Prisons, artists all over Colonels Row, and the Climate Museum’s Hub, "an exhibition in their first-ever temporary space housed within the historic Admirals House during Climate Week."

Michael Samuelian, President of the Trust for Governors Island, notes, "Since opening to the public in 2005, free opportunities to experience arts, culture and learning has brought life to Governors Island’s historic houses, inviting New Yorkers to delight in the unexpected. As the Island’s public season and audience grows, we’re thrilled to continue to expand our place as an affordable and unique citywide resource for the arts and invite organizations to submit their most engaging proposals for the 2019 season and beyond.”

It looks like the Island will go through some pretty big changes in the coming years, with other historic buildings—many abandoned and in need of rehabilitation—being transformed into hotels, restaurants, a spa... And the end goal is to have the Island open year-round. In other words, you may want to get in on this action now.

Qualifying proposals received before November 15th, 2018 will be contacted about their submission by the end of 2018. After November 15th, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis if space allows. House assignments will be selected by the Trust based on the scale, layout of proposed program and audience engagement. Find more information at

The permit process for outdoor spaces is currently open at And note that the Trust will open an additional permit process for food vendors and sports field use in the coming months.