What's New for 2020 Guide

What's New for 2020 Guide

NYC 2020 Weekend Artists Guide


Thank you for your interest in The FIGMENT Festival on Roosevelt Island!  This will guide you through the process of bringing your piece to Roosevelt Island. Please check back here regularly for updates. 

The Curatorial Team will keep accepted artists apprised of changes, and may supply new information that supersedes the details contained in this guide. Be sure to stay in regular communication with your assigned curator.

If you have questions about bringing your project to FIGMENT that are not addressed in this guide, email you curator directly for the quickest reply, or send an email [email protected]

FIGMENT After Dark!

Saturday, June 6th  from 6pm-10pm FIGMENT AFTER DARK returns! You are invited to submit projects that have a special interactivity when the lights go down. Once the stars are out we expect a variety of submissions from wearable art, LED based sculptures, art cars, blacklight reactive interactivity and more. Be part of the magic and submit using the Artists Portal.

Sculpture Park 

An homage to the summer-long projects of years past, this year we will work closely with all sculpture submissions to curate an area idea for interactivity and presentation. Sculpture submissions will benefit from early placement confirmation, a scheduled appointment with materials for the arts (spaces limited first come first serve), and will be a featured highlight on the event map. We are also working closely with local officials to secure extended display time beyond the weekend event! So, what are YOU building? submit using the Artists Portal. 

FIGMENT NYC Weekend: What’s new and updated for 2020?

We’re returning to Roosevelt Island this year, but even if you’ve been an artist in the past, please read the following information carefully.  Send an email to [email protected] if you have any questions.

Operating Schedule

Although Roosevelt Island will be open seven days a week it is inhabited.  While the hours will make it much easier for artists to visit and prepare for work on the island, the fact that there are permanent residents has a few implications for the event that you should consider:

Installation & Deinstallation Safety & Security

Artists who are placed in Lighthouse Park may enter the park at 8 am and begin work at 9 am but must be ready for others to arrive once the park is open to the public at 10 am. Once the park is opened to the public you must ensure that any unfinished installations, tools, or scrap materials do not pose a hazard to others, in particular, children. Use warning signs, rope off your area, and have another person available to watch your installation until your work is complete. 

FIGMENT can not supply volunteers to guard installation sites.  Unattended sites deemed to be unsafe by FIGMENT or The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) staff will be removed.

You must secure any valuable materials or tools if you leave your work site (even if the park is closed).

IMPORTANT: Vehicle access

This year, FIGMENT is more accessible than ever. Participants can arrive by car, subway, ferry or the famous air-tram.  For those coming by car, you will no longer need a staff escort to drive on the Island. There is a parking garage available for you to use called the Motorgate, located at the bridge to Roosevelt Island. Cars may drop off material close to their placement but may not park in the lots adjacent to Lighthouse Park. 

CarGo Truck:

To facilitate access to the island, we will run the FIGMENT CarGo truck if needed.  Once submissions close and we understand the needs of artists for this year, we'll communicate specific details to all accepted artists.  Ask your curator!   

Placement & Park Land

The Placement Team is part of the Curatorial Team.  We have found that this improves placement decisions and coordination between artists and FIGMENT staff.


Indoor space is available!  



Please review this guide thoroughly to ensure you understand the requirements and challenges of The FIGMENT Festival Weekend.

Review the updated Weekend Event Process Timeline to ensure you or someone on your team is available on key dates such as site visits, de/install, and the event itself.

Additionally, please consider your calendar when applying to FIGMENT. If you are going to be out of town in the days before or after FIGMENT, you’ll need to consider how you’ll handle install, deinstall, and management of your project in your absence. 


When you’re ready to submit your project, go to artistportal.figmentproject.org to start the submission process.  If you are a new artist, click the “Create Account” button to set up your Artist Portal account first.

Artists who used the Portal last year can sign in using your existing credentials.  Using your existing account will allow you to see information on projects you submitted in the past.

Once you have signed in, you’ll see the Contact Details page.  To update your details, click the Edit button. To submit a project for 2020, click the “Continue to Submit for an Event” button at the bottom of the page. 

On the next page, you can start a new application, review an application from last year, or resume an existing application. To start a new application, click the “CREATE A PROJECT” link on the “New York” row to start an application. 

On the first page of the application, you must click the “Accept Policies” and “Accept Waiver” buttons, read the materials presented in the dialog box, and then click the “Accept” button in each respective dialog box.

Continue filling out the application, clicking “Save” before moving on to the next page.  When you click “Save,” the website will validate your entries and let you know if anything is missing.  We recommend you “Save” on every page before moving on— It’s easier to deal with missing information when you’re on that page, as opposed to waiting until the Summary page.  After your entries are saved, click “Next” to move to the next section. To go back a page, use the “Back” button, “Save” your changes, then use “Next” to continue. Be sure to “Save” your work if you use the tabs at the top to move between sections. 

To exit and return to your application later, click “Save” before closing your browser.  When you sign back in, click the “Project Submissions” tab near the upper right corner of your Contact Details screen, and find your application listed at the bottom of the page.  Click the “Edit” link to continue.


After you complete the submission form, you will receive an automated confirmation email.  A FIGMENT curator will be assigned to your project, and will contact you within a few days to let you know if we have any questions for you. If you need to make travel plans by a certain date in order to get to FIGMENT, please bring this to the attention of your curator.

We will begin accepting submissions on a rolling basis once the submissions process opens.  The time to review and accept projects varies greatly by project. With a new venue there may be issues we need to work out with Roosevelt Island and a response may not always be immediate.  All artists will be notified by the Project Approval Deadline listed in the Weekend Event Process Timeline.


The FIGMENT staff communicates with artists primarily by email. You will need to check your email account regularly for communications from your curator, especially in the weeks leading up to the event.

Please note that FIGMENT is run entirely by volunteers.  It may take your curator a few days to respond to messages.  Please be patient and respectful with your curator. If your curator has not replied to an urgent message within a few days, you can email [email protected] for assistance.


There are FIGMENT Festivals happening around the globe, and we encourage artists to bring their projects to multiple cities!  To see where else FIGMENT is happening, visit https://www.figmentproject.org/figment_cities_and_events. Each city has its own quirks, leadership, and curatorial process, so acceptance in NYC does not guarantee acceptance elsewhere.  Please reach out to the leadership in each city for submission requirements.


Any project on which participants are encouraged to climb or ride will need to be supervised by the artist at all times.  You will need a team of people to support you in the supervision, allowing you to take breaks or deal with the unexpected.  Participants who climb on your project will need to sign a waiver, which will be supplied by FIGMENT. The artist is responsible for ensuring participants sign the waiver; FIGMENT will not have volunteers managing that process.

Any project that may look inviting to climb upon, but is not safe to climb or unable to be supervised by the artist at all times may have "Do Not Climb" signs posted on or around the project. 


All projects must be approved by The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) board. 

Wifi, Cell Phones, and Internet Access

At this time, there is no public wifi or other Internet access that we know of on within Lighthouse Park. Projects needing Internet access should find that the cellphone service on the Island is sufficient. Please check back for updates. 


Staking into the ground

Roosevelt Island sits atop a complex irrigation system which makes staking into the ground quite difficult. Plan to use weights instead of stakes and if you must use stakes, 6 inches is the maximum length.  If this is unworkable for your submission, please let your curator know up front and we will work with you to see where we can safely place you.  

Projects in the water

We do not have permits for the waterways so projects cannot be placed in or use the river. 

Balloons and flying things

Projects can fly in the air as high as 149 feet without involving the FAA. With FAA permission, your project can fly up to 500 feet. Please let us know if you think your project will be higher than 149 feet from the ground. Lighthouse Park is very windy. Please consider this when planning your project. Also, if you use a tent for your project in Lighthouse Park it must come down overnight or it may turn into a flying thing... 


Roosevelt Island is very protective of its trees. Your project may touch or wrap around a tree if it is very light and will not damage, strip or mark a tree. We recommend using cloth, and avoiding paper strings, since they can stick or leak color on any tree when it rains. Please let us know if your project involves a tree.

Muddy Grass

If it rains (and historically speaking, it will) or has rained considerably in the days before the event, the grass can get muddy.  Please be sure your project is ready for mud.


Rain & Wind

As noted elsewhere in this guide, Projects brought to FIGMENT must be able to withstand heavy rain and wind. It’s okay to disassemble or cover your project in the event of rain (or at the end of the day, just in case), but you need to be prepared for rain and wind.  If your project falls apart in the wind or rain, it is your responsibility to clean it up. 

Rain: If rain is an issue, we recommend bringing a tarp to cover your project and weigh it down with some heavy objects, or tie it down with rope.  Keep in mind that a tarp can also become a kite in heavy wind.

Wind: Roosevelt Island is in an open space with little protection from the wind.  If your project is lightweight, or involves lightweight materials, consider how you will handle a breezy day or storm.

Overnight: If your project is susceptible to rain or wind problems, how will you secure your project overnight when it is unattended?  All tents must be lowered or disassembled overnight. 

Sun: Much of Roosevelt Island is an open, grassy area, and as such, you should be prepared to protect yourself from the sun. Bring sunscreen; wearing a hat, sunglasses, or other appropriate attire and consider bringing a shade structure to protect yourself and your crew.  Bring reusable water bottles and plan to have enough water with you to stay hydrated on hot, sunny days. 


There are a few things you should know FIGMENT does not provide to FIGMENT Weekend artists. 

Tables and chairs

Please bring any and all tables and chairs that you need to make your project a success.

Volunteer Assistance

Although we do have occasional outside volunteer groups that show up to lend a hand with FIGMENT, we do not organize volunteers to help with projects and can't guarantee any support.  Artists should bring their own support team.

Ladders and tools

We do not provide ladders or other tools.  We have a very limited set of tools ourselves to build and support FIGMENT infrastructure, much of which is built at the same time you are installing or deinstalling your project. We can't lend out our tools. Check with your fellow artists to see if someone is bringing a tool you need. See your curator for details on how to reach out to other artists.

Food and Drink

Although HQ does usually have some snacks during the event, we do not always have food or drinks available, especially during install and deinstall.  Please plan to bring any food or drink you may need.

Indoor space for storage, & security

FIGMENT takes place in a public park with no secure borders. Any valuable materials or equipment belonging to you should be supervised by you and your team at all times.  We do not have volunteers or security staff to supervise equipment.

The island is not only open to the public but also has several thousand permanent residents.   Valuable equipment or materials are left unattended overnight is at the artist’s own risk. FIGMENT artists may not stay on the island overnight.

Our ability to store any equipment or project materials indoors overnight is limited. You should plan to secure or take your own equipment. Check with your fellow artists to see if someone has a vehicle you can store materials in. See your curator for details on how to reach out to other artists.

Grants & Funding

FIGMENT is a community-based event organized and run by volunteers.  FIGMENT does not provide funding for the production, transportation, or insurance of work to, at, or from the island. FIGMENT encourages artists to apply for outside grants and fundraise for your project within your personal capacity. 

Please note that fundraising at the FIGMENT Festival is prohibited, including selling art, soliciting donations, or displaying business sponsorship logos.  For more information, see the section on decommodification. 


So, you have a project with some boy parts or lady bits?  Due to the public setting of FIGMENT NYC Weekend, we don't typically receive adult-themed project submissions at FIGMENT NYC, but we are not opposed to them.  Here's a few things to keep in mind before bringing an adult-themed project to FIGMENT NYC Weekend:  

The FIGMENT Festival takes place on public land. If you can't do it legally on a street corner in Manhattan, you can't do it on Roosevelt Island. 

There are fences between the area FIGMENT uses and the rest of the public park but not everyone comes to Roosevelt Island knowing that FIGMENT is happening. You will have adults and children with a wide range of religious and social beliefs about what's appropriate, or what they would like their families to see, encountering your art.  You should be prepared for a wide range of responses to projects of an adult nature. 

Again, this is a public park in NYC, so you will also have people with a variety of reasons for interest in, and maturity around, works with adult themes and may attract unwanted characters hanging out with your art. You should be prepared to deal with such people.

FIGMENT does bill itself as a "family-friendly" all-ages event, so your assigned curator may work with you to find a way to make it clear to participants that the project may not be suitable for children.


After your project is accepted, your curator will work with you to finalize the logistics of bringing your project onto the island.  Many logistics details for the event are not known until the weeks leading up to the event, but this section will cover some of the usual details artists need to know.

Roosevelt Island is open seven days a week. This has multiple implications for install logistics, the details of which will be worked out with your curator. If you are a returning artist, do not assume things will be the same as they were in prior years. Logistics are subject to change due to new policies 


Install is on Friday from 8am - 6pm unless you are in a location with alternate public hours. 

Deinstall is on Sunday evening and the site should be left better than you found it on Monday by 2 pm. 


Your curator will work with you and our placement team to determine the best location for your project. However, placement is not final until the day of the event. Weather, power, and construction issues have and will force last-minute relocation of projects. We may share your expected placement location with you in advance of the event in order to gather feedback and facilitate logistics planning. However, we strongly advise against sharing your expected location with your friends, fans, and mailing lists as a way to find you on the island. Instead, there are two key items to tell followers when advertising your location:

FIGMENT does not distribute maps showing the location of specific projects. Maps will be posted with main areas of the island, but they won’t show project locations. 

Roving projects

"Roving" projects move about the island, but require a specific starting time and location for participants at which to meet up. To make it easier for participants to find roving projects, FIGMENT designates an official "Roving Start Point" for roving projects to use, if they so choose. You can gather participants at the start point, and then begin your adventure from there. Just tell your followers go to the "Roving Start Point" at your scheduled time(s). FIGMENT will also post the project names and start time(s) for roving projects at this location.  Talk to your curator if you want to use the roving start point.

Stages and Schedules

Like placement, factors like weather and power may require a sudden change in stage schedules. We recommend you tell your followers to find out the performance schedule when they visit the island. Schedules will be posted at stage locations. 

If you are performing on a stage, and you must tell your followers when you are scheduled, do not advertise the time of your performance until your curator tells you your performance time has been finalized. Just because you request a particular time, it does not mean we can accommodate it. Check with your curator before advertising times. 



FIGMENT offers two optional “Site Visit” events prior to FIGMENT Weekend, which provide artists the opportunity to visit the Island and meet FIGMENT staff in person. See the Weekend Event Process Timeline for the dates planned for this year.

Site Visit 1 (SV1) is scheduled well in advance of the event giving artists the opportunity to explore the Island.  Reservations with your curator must be made in advance to participate in SV1.

For Site Visit 2 (SV2), preliminary placement plans have been completed, and artists will be given a placement map, have the opportunity to visit their planned placement location and provide feedback to the Curatorial Team.  

Artists are welcome to attend either event if their schedules allow