Call for artists/performers: Wearable parade floats (Pasadena, CA)

Tote Your Float
A deconstructed parade of wearable floats
Deadline: December 1, 2016

Event: Saturday, March 11, 2017 (ArtNight Pasadena)
Location: Old Pasadena and environs, ending at the Armory Center for the Arts
Honorarium: $225 per artist/artist team – $550 maximum materials stipend, based on receipts
Contact: Grace Amemiya, Project Coordinator •

Project Overview

Tote Your Float puts a new spin on Pasadena’s famous high-budget, parade spectacles with a deconstructed parade through Old Pasadena. No street closures, massive motor-driven floats, passive seated spectators or marching bands. Instead, we will select 5-7 artists to CREATE, WEAR and WALK wearable floats on solo routes throughout this pedestrian district. Each “parade of one” will be dispersed at separate locations within designated parameters (see map below). The art float will proceed alone, separate from the other floats, interactively welcoming Pied Piper followers along the way. A meandering procession will form, as floats mingle and cross paths with other floats, briefly become a “floatilla” and finally to end the journey at the Armory Center for the Arts, with a celebration and exhibition of ‘parked’ floats for 3 days of public viewing. NewTown will document each float on its path to be viewed on our website, as a digital, virtual deconstructed parade.

Project Route(s)

Starting point: Old Pasadena. Floats may choose any route within the designated area (see map below), bordered by Pasadena Avenue, Arroyo Parkway, Del Mar Boulevard, and Walnut Street, including Central and Memorial Parks.
Destination: Armory Center for the Arts. Each float will proceed through Old Pasadena to continue on to the Armory Center for the Arts for a celebratory opening and weekend exhibition of floats.

Criteria for Selection

Artistic merit (highest priority): NewTown seeks conceptually strong work (thought-provoking, metaphorical, satirical, site-specific, mysterious, etc.) and highly inventive use of materials and structural designs, especially those that deconstruct, dismantle, detach. Floats can be worn by one person or multiple people moving in sync. They may incorporate analog or digital electronic devices, including interactive sensors, screens, pocket projectors, speakers for a sound component (or even Arduino wired lit skeletal framed ant umbrellas fuzzy caterpillar drink bars).
Collaborations between artists and/or non-artists are encouraged. For example, artists can team up with Cal Tech students, JPL scientists, architects, or their dog.
Interaction: We encourage INTERACTIVE floats. Be inventive in the ways your float will interact with passersby, the streets, and the destination sites.
Craftsmanship and Stability: We are seeking well-constructed, carefully thought-out work.

Float Requirements must be:

Original works designed specifically for Tote Your Float
Human propelled, walkable and wearable (wheels may only be secondary supports)
Maneuverable on a sidewalk through double doors, freight elevator, and maybe up stairs, if possibly reassembled modules for exhibition.
Horizontal orientation: longer than it is tall, allowing for pedestrian clearance
Weatherproof: be prepared for any type of weather including rain. They are called Floats, after all.
Interactive: consider that your unsuspecting pedestrian audience might be interacting with you and the float.


NewTown is targeting Old Pasadena’s diverse population: Pasadena residents, shoppers, diners, retail and restaurant workers, tourists, homeless people, seminary students, civic employees, dog walkers, skaters and NewTown fans. Consider that you will have an unexpected audience, surprised to find the art.  Anyone, including children, could find possibly sensitive content or imagery.

To Apply: email all questions and materials listed below to Project Coordinator, Grace Amemiya @ by December 1, 2016.

1 – Resume and/or brief biography.

2 – One-page project proposal which includes:

Concept or theme
Choice of materials and/or technical elements
Interactivity and mobility properties
Collaborators or teammates, if relevant
How project relates to your past or current work, if relevant

3 – Up to 7 images of your past work indicating experience in related genres and ability to carry out the project. If this proposal takes you in a new direction, provide samples showing general skills, aesthetics and adaptability. Websites may be cited only as supplemental work samples, not sole documentation.

4 – Annotated image list.

5 – Maximum of 4 sketches, models, or renderings of proposed float.

Tote Your Float was made possible by a grant from Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.