Open Culture Events

To apply for an open culture event, the applicant or sponsor must be an art or cultural institution. Art and Cultural Institution means (i) an art or cultural group, organization or institution within the city of New York that is a member of the cultural institutions group, as determined by the department of cultural affairs, or that is eligible to apply for a grant through the cultural development fund administered by such department, or (ii) a person providing documentation of funding from a borough arts council within the prior two years, or (iii) has fiscal sponsorship from a person or entity that meets the definition set forth in (i) or (ii) of this definition.

An open culture event can include, but is not limited to: cultural performances, rehearsals, and classes. An open culture event must be free, open to the public and offer free services or information to the community. Open culture events are limited to one block and one day and cannot involve fundraising or the sale of goods or services. If you are interested in hosting an open culture event, read below for more information or apply here.

When hosting an open culture event, keep in mind the following:

  • Applications must be submitted 15 days prior to the event
  • There is a $25 non-refundable processing fee
  • Nonprofit applicants must provide nonprofit status documentation with their application
  • Events are limited to the use of one block
  • Events can only occur on one day for 12 hours
  • Rain dates are not permitted
  • You cannot fundraise or charge vendors a fee to participate
  • You may not sell food or other goods and service
    • If you would like to fundraise, sell food or other items at your event, read more about hosting a single block festival
  • Your organization must be insured for a minimum of $1 million. Additional insurance is required
    • Additional Insured:  The City of New York, including its officials and employees, must be covered as additional insured.
    • Certificate Holder: The certificate holder should be listed as “City of New York c/o Street Activity Permit Office, 253 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.”
  • You may require additional permits. All other agency permits must be obtained before we can grant your SAPO permit. Examples include:
    • Food giveaways require a permit from the Department of Health
    • No parking signs and amplified sound, such as background music, musical performances, or speaker program, require a permit from the New York Police Department
    • Structures such as tents, canopies, stage platforms, bleachers, or inflatables over 10 feet tall require a permit from the Department of Buildings
    • Vehicles greater than 55 feet in length require an over dimensional permit from the Department of Transportation
    • Rides and inflatables such as truck mounted rides and bounce houses require a DOB Inspection Certificateand insurance. The ride company that you hire should provide this documentation
    • Holder should be listed as “City of New York c/o Street Activity Permit Office, 253 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.”
    • Generators require a certificate from the New York Fire Department. When generators are over 40kw they also require a certificate from the New York Department of Environmental Protection


APPLY FOR A OPEN CULTURE PERMIT