The Trust for Governors Island's Art CommisionsGI Program

Governors Island Corporation, d.b.a. The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust)

Funding Received: 2013
New York, NY
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 5, 2013


We have just broken ground on the art program’s first commission, which was awarded to Turner Prize Winner Susan Philipsz, who works in sound. Drawn from the tones of the bugle call Taps, “Day is Done” will implicitly evoke the Island’s military history. Scheduled for completion in October, visitors will hear the calls at the end of the day from speakers mounted in two locations: West 8’s Liggett Terrace, a lively plaza in the heart of the new park now under construction, and at Yankee Pier, a ferry landing that welcomes over one third of the Island’s visitors.

Susan Philipsz will do a sound tests later this month and early next month, when she will be in town for MOMA’s first major exhibition of sound art works, “Soundings” [link:].

Recent Wins

Fête Paradiso, the world’s first traveling festival of vintage French carnival rides and carousels, made its American debut on Governors Island on July 13. The rare, museum-quality collection, which includes a full carnival of attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as carousels, flying swings and a pipe organ, will be available for the public to ride and enjoy every weekend from through September 29.

The extraordinary festival of artisan crafted vintage carousels and carnival rides is the first of its kind to appear in the United States. Among the attractions, which come from the collections of Francis Staub and Regis Masclet, is a bicycle carousel from the late 19th century – one of only two in the world that were created in Paris to encourage the use of what was then the a new mode of transportation – the bicycle. Fête Paradiso also includes an early 20th century Music-Hall Ball Guzzler, a carnival game that features life-size caricatures of Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, Charlie Chaplin, the Fratellini Brothers and other celebrities of the time.

Governors Island provides the perfect backdrop to this delightful and joyful festival that is sure to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. It builds upon the Island’s reputation as a “playground for the arts.”

French Carousels go for a Spin on Governors Island (WABC TV)


Are we having fun yet? This is a serious question! Successful creative placemaking nurtures places where people want to go and linger. No, we can’t always have fun, but fun – the kind of pure unadulterated joy you get from riding a carousel or connecting with a particular work of art – is an essential element of most places people want to be.