Convening 2015

Minneapolis–St. Paul, Sep 17 – 20

The Common Field Convening 2015--aka Hand-in-Glove--assembled 350+ arts organizers from across the US for debates, panel discussions, artist-designed dinner gatherings, workshops, tours, and celebratory evenings in Minneapolis-St. Paul from September 17-20th. The 2015 Convening was co-hosted and organized by The Soap Factory and Works Progress.


Common Field, Works Progress Studio, and The Soap Factory invite you to join the third Hand-in-Glove convening, an itinerant gathering created by and for practitioners in the field of alternative art spaces, projects and organizations. Over four days in Minneapolis-St. Paul we will investigate the contexts and conditions of artist-led culture across the country, exploring existing and emerging structures of support, while deepening peer-relationships.


What to expect at Hand-in-Glove 2015

An opening debate about arts organizing paradigms and platforms; The official public launch of the new Common Field network; Provocative panel discussions with leaders from the field; Artist-designed social gatherings and small group conversations; Opportunities to experience local art spaces and projects; A publication party for the latest edition of Phonebook, a national directory of artist-run and underground culture; And a chance to make new connections with other artists, arts organizers, arts administrators and supporters!

With the vibrant artistic cultures and communities of Minneapolis-St. Paul as a backdrop, Hand-in-Glove 2015 will invite participants to question, reflect and speculate on the possible futures of artist-led and artist-centric projects, spaces and organizations. The convening will conclude with an open space workshop for attendees to propose and host their own sessions around the ideas, issues and opportunities that emerge over the course of the weekend.


Introducing Common Field

Common Field, a new network for visual arts organizations and organizers, will officially launch at Hand-in-Glove 2015, celebrating the public opening of its webspace and membership. Common Field assembles a broad spectrum of independent organizations and organizers, from grassroots projects and artist spaces, to mid-sized nonprofits. Common Field creates connections amongst people working across this varied sector, explores historical precedents for this field of practice, and develops resources and support structures that respond to the social, economic and political contexts in which artists live and work. We are excited to announce that one free Common Field membership is included with your ticket to Hand-in-Glove 2015!

You can also sign up for the Common Field mailing list to be among the first to know when the new website launched and membership opens in September.


More About Hand-in-Glove

Since 2011, Hand-in-Glove has assembled hundreds of arts leaders from across the country to address pressing issues and innovations in arts organizing through panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities. Previous iterations of Hand-in-Glove have been organized by Threewalls in Chicago (2011) and Press Street in New Orleans (2013). As Common Field's annual convening, Hand-in-Glove moves across cities, adapting to local issues and prompting national conversations. Hand-in-Glove 2016 will be hosted by Cannonball in Miami, Florida.


Visit the Hand-in-Glove living archive to learn more about past Hand-in-Glove convenings. Hand-in-Glove 2015 will be live streamed and documentation from the convening will be archived on the new Common Field website after the convening.



Works Progress Studio is an artist-led LLC founded in 2010 and based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Led by wife-husband Collaborative Directors Shanai Matteson and Colin Kloecker, Works Progress engages an expansive network of artists, designers, organizers, researchers, advocates and other creative collaborators to realize imaginative public projects rooted in place and purpose.

Celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2015, The Soap Factory is a laboratory for artistic experimentation, audience engagement and emerging cultural practices. As an organization, they produce innovative programs across artistic disciplines – more than 300 exhibitions, performances and events since its founding in 1989.

Common Field is a visual arts organizing network supporting artist-led projects across the United States and beyond. Common Field connects independent arts organizations and organizers, artists and curators, and others with a grassroots ethos through peer-to-peer connection, convenings, advocacy, and research.  

Lead Organizers
Shanai Matteson + Colin Kloecker


Project Staff
Ben Heywood
Kate Arford
Lacey Prpić Hedtke, HIG Project Coordinator / Minneapolis, MN
Beth Loraine Bowman, Soap Factory / Minneapolis, MN


Local Advisors
Mona Smith


Common Field Leadership Cabinet
Abigail Satinsky, Threewalls / Chicago, IL / Common Field Co-Director
Stephanie Sherman, Elsewhere / Greensboro, NC / Common Field Co-Director
Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-Bow / Saugatuck, MI
Courtney Fink, Southern Exposure / San Francisco, CA
Nat May, SPACE Gallery / Portland, ME


Common Field Council
Dana Bishop-Root, Transformazium / Braddock, PA
Matthew Fluharty, Art of the Rural / St. Louis, MO
Ryan Dennis, Project Row Houses / Houston, TX
Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace / New York, NY
Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, University of Texas-Austin / Austin, TX
Anne Focke, Independent / Seattle, WA
Mark Allen, Machine Project / Los Angeles, CA
Kemi Ilesanmi, The Laundromat Project / New York, NY
Colin Kloecker, Works Progress Studio / Minneapolis, MN
Lane Relyea, Northwestern University / Chicago, IL



Common Field and Hand-in-Glove thank The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Hemera Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The McKnight Foundation for their support for the convening.

Thanks to In-Kind Sponsors Metro Transit, Nice Ride MN, Common Roots Cafe, Sift Gluten Free, Black Coffee and Waffle Bar.