Submissions Open July 11th to Performance Artists for The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation’s Sight/Geist Series

Visual Arts



Submissions Accepted Here by August 8, 2023

Kalup Linzy, The State of my Feelings and Emotions… at The 8th Floor, New York. May 14, 2022. Photo by Johanna Wilson.


New York, NY – June 29, 2023 – The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is excited to announce our second Sight/Geist open call. For this iteration, we are seeking ambitious performance work from emerging NYC-based performance artists for our fall 2023 programming at The 8th Floor, our gallery near Union Square, NYC. Sight/Geist will continue to highlight work that addresses the Foundation’s mission of art and social justice, through the often underserved but expansive medium of performance.

Applicants should consider the following details and eligibility requirements:

  • Submissions from individual artists, duos, or collectives are welcome, but the primary applicant must be at least 18 years old and be an NYC-based emerging artists focused on performance. This includes those who self-identify as early-career, self-trained, newly graduated, and currently enrolled in undergraduate/graduate programs. The Foundation supports artists working in the realm of visual/interdisciplinary studio practice, as opposed to performing arts, dance, or theater.
  • The curatorial team expects to select three proposals for solo public programs. Proposed works should be circa 20-30 minutes in duration. Each performance will be followed by a brief presentation from the artist on their broader practice, and a discussion led by Foundation staff.
  • Proposals should have an experimental and/or pedagogical approach relating to the Foundation’s mission. Performances might foreground duration, movement, audiovisual media, voice, site specificity, as well as audience participation. Community-based social practice works will not be supported by this initiative. Minimal installations will be considered (no fabrication/transportation assistance can be provided). Open flames are prohibited.
  • Selected artists will receive $1,000 for their program ($750 for performance, $250 for discussion), inclusive of any material expenses. The Foundation is open to artist duos/collectives but please note the fee is fixed for this opportunity, and would need to be shared among participants. Professional photo/video documentation will be conducted by the Foundation and made available to the artist(s).
  • New and existing pieces can be considered; however, they cannot have been performed in NYC in last 5 years. Please note that this opportunity is not a commission.
  • Proposals must be in accordance with the scale of The 8th Floor space. A floorplan can be found here and a virtual gallery here – events usually take place in the gallery’s south end. Recent examples include Carlos Martiel and Kalup Linzy & Larry Krone.
  • Selected artists are encouraged to schedule a time to spec out the space, and if needed a light rehearsal before the performance date. All setup and breakdown must take place on the day of the performance.
  • Basic audiovisual performances utilizing single-channel projections and a speaker system are welcome, though gallery A/V equipment and tech support will need to be agreed upon between the Foundation and artist(s) in advance.
  • Only one submission per artist/duo/collective. Please note that single-channel film submissions were the focus of our inaugural Sight/Geist, and will not be considered for this round of applications.


Submissions will be live at this link from July 11, 2023 and are due by 10am ET on August 8, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their status by mid-September for performance programs in November and December 2023. If you have any questions, please email us at


About the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

The Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, sustainable communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supported cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.


About The 8th Floor

The 8th Floor is an independent exhibition and event space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin to promote artistic and cultural initiatives. Inspired by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the gallery is committed to broadening the access and availability of art to New York audiences. Seeking further cultural exchange, The 8th Floor explores the potential of art as an instrument for social change in the 21st century, through an annual program of innovative contemporary art exhibitions and an events program comprised of performances, salon-style discussions, and those organized by external partners.


Follow the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation:

Facebook @sdrubinfoundation, Twitter @rubinfoundation, Instagram @rubinfoundation

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For media inquiries, please contact: Max Kruger-Dull, 212.675.1800,


Image description: A Black person with long black hair wearing a black leotard sings passionately into a microphone, lit by pink and blue lights with a reflective orange backdrop.