Common Field invites proposals from arts organizers and organizations in the form of Conversations, Dialogues, Panels, Projects/Tours, Reports from the Field, and Workshops. The 2019 Philadelphia Convening will take place at the Friends Center and a wide range of sites across the city. All current Network members are eligible to apply. Learn how to join online. Scholarships to join the Network are available.

The Common Field Convening is an annual itinerant gathering that brings together 450+ visual arts organizers to share resources, ideas, and methods for artist-centered spaces, projects and practices. The goal of the Convening is to develop local and national peer connectivity, build knowledge from the field, and create a growing set of resources to share broadly.

Click here to download a PDF of the Open Call Guidelines and Application
Click here to access the application and view the Guidelines in Submittable

Common Field is committed to supporting all session organizers and presenters with an honoraria and travel stipend. Proposals received through the open call will be reviewed by both National and Philadelphia partners.

Key Dates:
Guidelines and Application Online: August 15, 2018
Deadline to Submit Proposals: Monday, November 5, 2018, 11:59PM PST.
Convening Participation Acceptance Notification: January 15, 2019
Convening Dates: April 25 - 28, 2019

Please review FAQs on our website.

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Now accepting proposals for the 2019 Philadelphia Common Field Convening
Convening dates: April 25-28, 2019
Primary Venue: Friends Center, Philadelphia, PA

The Common Field Convening is an annual itinerant gathering that brings together 450+ visual arts organizers to share resources, ideas, and methods for artist-centered spaces, projects and practices. The Convening is a place for dialogue, workshops, practical and social exchanges exploring the current state of our field.

The goal of the Convening is to develop local and national peer connectivity, build knowledge from the field, and create a growing set of resources to share broadly. The Convening connects and incorporates the interests, themes, and issues of the national Common Field network with the issues, contexts, and conditions specific to the convening site. Common Field is committed to providing opportunities for both value-driven discussions and practical tools and skills— a need expressed by our Network members and the field at large.

Learn more about Philadelphia’s art community while engaging people from artists’ communities across the country—people who may become potential collaborators, mentors, mentees, and friends.

The Common Field Convening: (originally Hand-in-Glove) a local gathering organized by Threewalls in Chicago in 2011; has since been hosted in New Orleans 2013 (Press Street), Minneapolis 2015 (Soap Factory + Works Progress); Miami 2016 (BFI, Cannonball, Dimensions Variable, and Locust Projects); and in Los Angeles 2017 (Center for Land Use Interpretation, Human Resources, Materials + Applications, Women’s Center for Creative Work).

Public registration for the Convening will launch in February 2019. Convening content will be documented and available for public access online after the Convening has concluded.

Common Field is a national network of independent visual arts organizations and organizers that connects, supports, and advocates for the artist-centered field. Founded in 2013 and launched in 2015, the Common Field network has 545+ members across the US. Programs include national convenings, grants, research, resources, forums, meet-ups and advocacy. Our vision is to increase understanding, involvement and knowledge of artists organizations and their value, and increase their capacity through national connectivity, dialog understanding and support.

The 2019 Call for Convening Proposals will close at 11:59PM PST on Monday, November 5, 2018.


-You must be a current Common Field member in order to apply to the Open Call for Convening Proposals.
-All current members (organizations and organizers) are eligible. To learn more about how to join, visit
-Scholarships are available to offset the cost of membership. Contact to learn more.

- Submit your session proposal through our online Submittable form.
- Carefully review the Guidelines before starting your application.
- Collective proposals are welcome and encouraged. Each proposal will be submitted under the name of one lead contact person and they will be main point of contact for all further communication.
- Sessions organizers who will not be participating can be proposed/organized by people who will not be presenting themselves; please note that we are only able to financially support those presenting with honoraria and travel support.
-You may submit more than one application; however, only one application may be selected for the Convening.
- We recommend you prepare your application in a separate Word processing program. When you are done, please copy and paste your responses into the submission form.

Each proposal must be identified in one of the following categories. Please read below for more information about each category so that you may select the one that best suits your proposal. All sessions (with the exception of Projects/Tours) last 90 minutes.
*Reports from the Field

Conversations: Conversation sessions offer an opportunity to explore practical and theoretical topics through intimate group conversation. These sessions are designed to begin with very short introductions by presenters, who then facilitate group dialogue, engagement and conversation with session attendees.
Up to 4 potential/confirmed presenters

Dialogues: These sessions feature two speakers in an intimate conversation, with time for discussion/questions from the audience.
2 confirmed presenters

Panels: These moderated discussions feature a curated group of 3 to 4 speakers who share perspectives and experiences, and include opportunity for questions/discussion with the audience.
Up to 4 potential/confirmed presenters (including moderator)

Projects & Tours: Artist projects can take the form of archiving projects, performances, tours, publications, book signings, and tables at the Convening site (Friends Center) and in adjacent neighborhoods. These should occur during the Convening’s main hours: Friday and Saturday from 10am - 6pm.
Up to 3 potential/confirmed people

Reports from the Field: These presentations should highlight localized activity, organizers, or organizations, and share larger themes and ideas that give Convening attendees a window into a specific geographic focus, project, or topic.
Up to 4 potential/confirmed presenters

Workshop: In these small, skill-sharing sessions (~25 participants), attendees work with practitioners to develop and discuss tools, gain hands on experience, engage in specific types of training and exchange tactics.
Up to 2 potential/confirmed presenters

Applicants will be notified on the status of their proposal by January 15, 2019.
-Proposals received through the open call are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of national and local partners.
-Common Field has the capacity to select approximately 25 proposals from the Open Call.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
-General strength and vision of proposed idea
-Timeliness of proposed topic as a current and pressing concern for organizers in the field
-Potential to build and share knowledge among convening attendees
-Supports a diverse range of presenters and organizers to participate in the Convening
-Values difference and supports diversity in all its forms
-Capacity of the applicant(s) to realize the proposal

-Each Individual Presenter will receive an honorarium of $200.
-If traveling from out of town, presenters will receive a travel stipend of up to $600.
-They will receive a free one-year Network Membership and a free ticket (valued at $150 or $125) to attend the Convening.
-Detailed financial support will be shared with accepted presenters as part of the confirmation process if your proposal is accepted.


Proposals selected from the Open Call will be scheduled for Friday, April 26th or Saturday, April 27th. Selected presenters are required to present at the time and location assigned to them by Common Field, and are strongly encouraged to be active participants in the Convening beyond their own session.

If your proposal is not accepted through the open call process, Common Field has a national scholarship program you are welcome to apply for. The deadline to apply is January 25, 2019. Up to 25 scholarships are available. The total value of each scholarship is up to $1,000, and includes a free one-year membership to Common Field, one membership level convening ticket ($125 value), and up to $875 reimbursement for round-trip travel and accommodations.

The organizers of the Common Field Convening strive to create an open and inclusive environment in which participants feel safe to take risks and engage in critical discussions. We see the need for safer spaces in all organizing and are committed to it as part of our work. We encourage our attendees to learn how to create such spaces in each of our gatherings and adopt such practices pertinent to their own organizing. It is very important that presenters, as well as participants, understand and agree to our values and vision for creating a safe and equitable Convening.

Core Values:
• We are a network of artists' organizations and organizers who embrace interwoven roles as artists, curators, administrators, and organizers. We build from the rigor, experimentation, risk-taking, and responsiveness of contemporary artistic practices.
• We challenge dominant discourses and offer alternatives to the status quo. We put difficult ideas and imaginaries into the world. We support practices and projects that emerge from the ground up.
• We organize as a field in order to strengthen one another through collective action, shared information, and mutual support. We demonstrate equitable pay, self-determination, and healthy work environments
• We value difference in all its forms. We create structures, build platforms, and advance thinking that support diversity in identity, geography, history, orientation, perspective, and circumstance.
• We support organizing that generates new contexts for creation, circulation, and critique. We engage with changing social, political, and economic conditions, prioritizing the role of art organizing within these broader concerns.
• We use sharing, open communication, and problem solving as a way of modeling new forms of equity and power. We are transparent in our governance, decision making, communication, goals, and finances.
• We foster a culture of collaboration. We are equally committed to listening, to self-critique, to feedback, and to modification and calibration as part of our collective evolution.


-To propose a session for the Common Field 2019 Convening in Philadelphia, please complete your application in our online Submittable application form.
The 2019 Call for Common Field Convening Proposals will close at 11:59PM PST on Monday, November 5, 2018.
-Please review the Open Call for Convening Proposals Guidelines before completing your proposal!
-If submitting these documents electronically poses an accessibility barrier, please contact Crystal for assistance at: 626-566-8984 or convening [​at​]


Section 2: PROPOSAL


Common Field Membership Type

Link to Common Field Member Profile

Contact Information
-First Name
-Last Name
-Organizational Affiliations (if applicable)
-Bio (150 word limit)
-Social Media Handles (if applicable)
-Proposal Organizers (if applicable)


1. Session Format: Please pick your session format: Conversation, Dialogue, Panel, Projects/Tour, Report from the Field, Workshop
If you are proposing a Workshop, how many participants can your workshop accommodate?
2. Session Title
3. Session Description (300 word limit)
4. Audience Engagement (100 word limit)
5. A/V Needs
6. Collaborative/Group Name (if applicable)
7. Additional Presenter Information (if applicable)
Confirmed or Proposed
Link to Common Field Organizational/Organizer Profile (if applicable)
Organizational Affiliations (if applicable)
Bio/Website (150 word limit)
Location (City, State, Country)
8. Accessibility Requests

You may Include up to two forms of support materials with your application. You will be prompted to upload digital files or type in URLs. Please include a short description of each image, video, URL or piece of writing. Upload your image description list as a single PDF document.

• Short description list (formatted as a PDF)
• Images: You may submit up to 6 digital images – formatted as JPG, GIF, TIFF, or PNG files (not to exceed 800 x 600 pixels, 180 dpi).
• Writing: You may submit up to two pieces of writing – formatted as PDF(s).

Links: Please add a list of your links to the Support Materials URL text box.
• Video: You may submit up to two videos or or three excerpts of videos. We will view up to FIVE minutes in total. Please submit URLs to Vimeo, Youtube, or a personal portfolio website.
• Web-based Projects: You may submit a list of up to 2 URL


Have you attended a previous Common Field Convening?
-If so, which year(s) did you attend?

Have you presented at a previous Common Field Convening?
-If so, which year(s)?

Have you participated in other Common Field projects such as Field Perspectives, Meet-Ups, Field Conversations, Field Grants, or Field Conversations.
-If so, which one and when?

Are you a Philadelphia/surrounding area resident?
-If so, what neighborhood do you live in?

Are you a student?
-If so, what kind of program are you enrolled in?

I identify as (select as many as apply):
Black, Afro-Caribbean, or African American
East Asian
South Asian or Indian
Middle Eastern or Arab
Native American, Alaskan Native, or First Nations
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Non-Hispanic White or Euro-American
Prefer not to answer

I identify my gender as (select as many as apply):
Gender Neutral
Third Gender
Prefer not to answer

My pronouns are (select as many as apply):
Prefer not to answer

I identify as LGBTQIA
Prefer not to answer



To review the Common Field Open Call Guidelines and Application, click here.

1. Does it cost anything to submit a proposal?

No! Submission is free once you’re a member of Common Field.

2. Is it okay if I want to collaborate with people who aren’t members of Common Field?

Yes! Your proposal needs to be submitted by a Common Field member, but you are welcome to suggest/include non-members in your proposal(s).

3. What does the application’s request to “Link to Common Field Organizational/Organizer Profile” mean?

It’s a request to list the URL of your Common Field profile page, which typically takes the form of To find your URL, click on the NETWORK section on the Common Field website. Then click on the LIST filter on the upper right hand side. Once the list view loads, click on either ORGANIZATION or ORGANIZER depending on what type of member you are. Find yourself in the list and then click on your name. The URL for your page is the URL we’d like you to use!

4. Can you give me any guidelines to help with my idea for a proposal?

You are welcome to refer to previous Convenings HERE for reference, though we encourage members to creatively interpret session structures and conceptual content based on what feels meaningful to you/your organization/community/our common field.

5. How many proposals can an organization/organizer submit?

You are welcome to submit as many proposals as you'd like, though only one proposal per organizer/organization can be selected. As opposed to having our jury decide from your proposals, we recommend self-selecting before submitting.

6. Do we need to have a moderator for our proposed panel? Will someone suggested by Common Field be moderating our panel?

You do not need to have a moderator for your proposed panel. In fact, not every panel needs a moderator! It would be helpful to have someone facilitating the session(s) in some way, but we will not be suggesting moderators. Please feel free to propose a format that works best for your proposed session(s).

7. Where can I find 2019 conference-related topics and themes? I have been working on a proposal and want to make sure it will be appropriate.

We really want to encourage you to submit convening topics and themes that are most pertinent to you and your perception of our field. If you need guidance, check out our previous Convenings’ programming for reference. We are open to considering all of your ideas! Our Philadelphia lead partners, along with our National board, will also be generating a portion of the content. We look forward to reviewing your proposal!

8. If I am accepted, do I have to pay to attend the Convening?

You do NOT have to pay to attend the Convening if you are a presenter! You will receive a free ticket. In fact, we will also pay you an honorarium for your contribution, and provide a stipend for travel expenses if are traveling to Philadelphia to attend the Convening.

9. Who is reviewing proposals?

Proposals received through the open call are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of national and local partners.

10. When will I be notified on the status of my proposal?

You will be notified by January 15, 2019.

11. Can I attend the Convening if my proposal is not accepted?

Absolutely! Public registration will be online in February 2019. Registration fees will be $125 Members / $150 Non-Members / $65 Day passes. Registration includes access to all Convening programming, and 2 dinners, 2 lunches, and 2 breakfasts plus coffee all day during main Convening programming on Friday and Saturday.

12. I can’t afford to attend the Convening if my proposal is not accepted. Can I have a free ticket?

We will offer 25 scholarships to national folks to offset the cost of attendance, including free admission to the Convening and travel support. Please make sure that you are following us on social media/signed up for our email list to be notified when the application for scholarships is available.

13. How many sessions and presenters will you accept from this Open Call?

We anticipate accepting 90 presenters, whose contributions will create approximately 20 sessions and 3-5 artist projects.

14. I am an individual and I would like to present. Can I apply with my idea/paper/etc. and Common Field will place me on a panel/discussion/etc?

No, we only accept proposals for stand-alone sessions; we are unable to accept proposals from individuals who wish to be placed into a session. However, we encourage you to use the Network discussion forum to connect with folks who are also working on proposals!

15. There are barriers to access that prevent me from using Submittable. Am I ineligible to apply?

If submitting these documents electronically poses an accessibility barrier, please contact Crystal for assistance at: 626-566-8984 or convening [​at​]