The Brokerage

The Dunedin Dream Brokerage brings life into empty urban and retail environments through brokering a lively programme of art project occupation. We work with property owners, artists, individuals and community groups to broker the temporary use of space – be it public or commercial, empty or under-utilised – for the temporary occupation of creative projects.

We welcome and support creative projects wishing to use vacant space in Dunedin city. We support applications, negotiate with property owners and enjoy sharing our growing experience in successful audience engagement. The Brokerage is coordinated by a Broker and overseen by an Advisory Panel.

Dunedin Dream Brokerage aims to

  • Support the work of artists and increase citizen engagement and local storytelling

  • Reduce vacant space and activate the city's under-utilised buildings and spaces for creative purpose

  • Deliver a lively and diverse programme of experiences and events that celebrate our city

Got a project ready to go? Check out how to apply.

facebook / instagram


Kate Schrader.jpg

Kate Schrader, Dunedin Broker
Mobile: +64 27 520 4499
26 Princes Street (Dunedin Fringe Office), Dunedin 9016

We employ a part-time Broker who has business, arts and project management experience. The Broker is based in the Dunedin Fringe Festival office at 26 Princes Street. The Broker is your first point of contact when considering applying to the Brokerage. Your application will be reviewed by the Advisory Panel, and the Broker will communicate with you the decisions or suggestions made by the Panel. The Broker will connect with the landowner/s on your behalf and negotiate temporary occupation by you and your project. They will provide an agreement for the temporary lease of the space and you will need to agree to a set of responsibilities regarding building and public safety. Our broker will offer you advice and recommendations based on their experience, including developing media and communications material.

This Cloud is

val smith
(Image by Justin Spiers)

Advisory Panel

Our Advisory Panel are a group of volunteers with experience in art, festivals, project management, marketing and real estate. They review all project submissions, and may ask for more information through the Broker. Current Advisory Panel members are Ali Bramwell, Cara Paterson, Caro McCaw, Chanel O’Brien, David Marsh, Grace Ryder, Kathryn Ward, Mark Amery, Peter Christos, Sophie Jerram and Vicki Lenihan.

Hoe Ākau

The Hoe Ākau oversees the operations and provides governance for the Brokerage. The current group members are Caro McCaw and Vicki Lenihan.


Dunedin Dream Brokerage runs with support from Dunedin City Council, Otago Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Polytechnic. The Brokerage receives funding from the Council. The Chamber provides overarching support as an ‘umbrella’ organisation and the Otago Polytechnic helps us with our Public Liability Insurance structure. We are looking for future project partners and funding opportunities, please contact the Broker if you are interested in beginning a dialogue with us about becoming involved.

Building Owners

If you are a Building owner and interested in sharing your space here is some key information:

• The Dunedin Dream Brokerage is a funded activity by Dunedin City Council aligning with the aims of Ara Toi Ōtepoti – the Dunedin Arts and Culture Strategy

• Building owners provide the space rent-free (or low cost) for the period of the Brokered project

• While the activities we broker are for short term occupancy, these may lead to longer term paid leases at your discretion. At the very least your space will be cleaned, open to the public and become revitalised through its use. Our projects often attract media coverage, extending your property’s visibility further

•  Public Liability insurance - For the period of the Dream Brokerage project in your premises, insurance is covered by our partnership with the Otago Polytechnic

• Easy to work with - While the Dunedin Dream Brokerage are an active and experienced group with arts expertise, you will just deal with one person, our Broker, who has experience in business management and arts sectors

• A trusted process - We have been facilitating projects for over three years and have been mentored through a Wellington-based organisation (Letting Space) who have brokered 122 projects over the last 5 years, and recently won an award for their work

Property managers or owners interested in having their property listed with Dunedin Dream Brokerage should contact us (details above) and we will be in touch to discuss further the options for your building.

JPalm Presents

Julia Palm
(Image by Justin Spiers)


Dunedin Dream Brokerage has evolved from the Dunedin iteration of the Wellington-based Urban Dream Brokerage project, developed and grown in 2012 from Letting Space under the auspices of the Wellington Independent Arts Trust. The Dunedin programme, brokered by Tamsin Cooper, ran alongside other Urban Dream Brokerage programmes in Wellington, Porirua and Masterton. Currently Dunedin is the only Dream Brokerage in operation.

Letting Space organises and produces numerous art and public engagement projects that focus on urban community engagement. They have included many art and media projects that increase the revitalisation of public space and propose social change. Under the leadership of Mark Amery, Sophie Jerram and Helen Kirlew Smith, the Urban Dream Brokerage brokered 122 projects (26 in Dunedin) over five years, and in 2018 received a prestigious Open Source Award.

All Letting Space’s processes, license agreements, templates, forms are available for free use through a Creative Commons license –  see link below.


Examples of urban renewal through art and design practices:

Letting Space

Life in Vacant Spaces


Renew Newcastle



Recent media coverage:

The Elephant in the room Otago Daily Times by Gina Dempster

Unused retail spaces set to come alive for shows Otago Daily Times Estelle Schuler

Otago Museum Breakfast Show Radio 1 Interview with Jamie Green

Are our cities too full for Artists? The Big Idea by UDB Co-Founder Sophie Jerram

’Urban’ creative project now Dunedin Dream The Star by Brenda Harwood

OARsome Morning Show - Otago Access Radio interview with Jeff Harford

Anthony Hamel Lawyers, Josh Thomas, Dudley Benson.

With thanks to