River Festival Call

Call Flyer (suitable for printing or distributing!)


  • Entry due date: Sunday, March 12 – NEW DEADLINE!!!
  • Jurors’ announcement: March 16
  • Raceday: Saturday, June 3

The Event

This is a ¾ mile juried race of pushed, pulled, or pedaled sculpture with a following daylong exhibition at the Cambridge Arts River Festival. The festival is an annual celebration with 150,000–200,000 festival-goers. Participants have the opportunity to join in a spectacular, well-attended event, and exhibit their work publicly on Race Day and on the PSR site.


For the second year, the race and River Festival take place at Lechmere Canal Park and on the Cambridge Parkway (in red). The People’s Sculpture Race runs along Cambridge Parkway from the top right (northeast) to the lower left (southeasterly) and return to the start via an 8′ tarmac sidewalk adjacent to the Parkway. As this is not a wide racecourse, contenders take off in clusters and are individually timed. The start-end line, exhibition, assembly, and announcement area is in the area adjacent to and immediately NW of the Parkway (and east of Land Blvd).

How to Enter

Email proposals, title, images of proposed and past work, short bio, contact info by March 4 to  sculptureracing@gmail.com. Jurying takes place early the following week. The three jurors–Richard Zauft, Dean of the Lesley University College of Art and Design; Deborah Douglas, Director of Collections and Curator (science and technology) of the MIT Museum; Nancy Selvage, Sculptor, and David Lang, Kinetic Sculptor–will judge work on the basis of quality, originality, fidelity to guidelines, practicality, & entrants’ demonstrated capacity to complete the project.  Notifications within a week. PLEASE MEET OUR JURORS.

Three Basic Guidelines

  1. The overriding aesthetic is spectacle (visually striking performance or display).
  2. Movement must be human-powered. Wheels must be integral to the work. Kinetic elements encouraged.
  3. This is a total art event: projects are encouraged to include performance, sound art, costumes, kinetic objects

Additional Guidelines

Call Flyer (suitable for printing or distributing!)

Shared Cash Purse (only for 2017)

This event is sponsored by the New England Foundation for the Arts, which has generously made several thousand dollars available to be shared equally by artists who start–and hopefully finish!–the race. Checks will be disbursed by the Cambridge Arts Council at the end of the race. The amount will be approximately $200 per entrant.


Handmade trophies by artist Rory Beerits and Artist-Engineer Daniel Rosenberg will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Speed – who finishes the race first.
  • Spectacle – visually striking performance or display; creativity, craftmanship, uniqueness, artistic merit, daring, wildness, significance
  • Ingenuity – engineering innovation
  • Two other trophies TBA

Other Races

An unjuried Community Race and exhibition will take place at Danehy Park, in northwest Cambridge, on Saturday, April 22.  This is a Cambridge Science Festival event. See sculptureracing/Danehy for more info & workshops.