Friends Center: 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102    

Crane Arts: 1400 N American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122    

Christ Church Neighborhood House: 20 N American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106     


Friends Center: The Quaker Hub for Peace & Justice

Friends Center is a hub for Quaker activity in Philadelphia and around the world. The Friends Center campus houses an active Quaker meeting; local, regional, and international Quaker organizations; and like minded groups working for peace and justice.

Friends Center’s place in Philadelphia history began in 1856, when the Race Street Meetinghouse was built jointly by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and what is now known as Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.

The continuously active meetinghouse has served its congregation and the larger community for over 150 years. Important figures in the life of this building have included prominent women’s right activists Lucretia Mott, Hannah Clothier Hull, and Alice Paul. In 1993 the Race Street Meetinghouse was designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in women’s rights movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In the early 1960s, a group of Friends responded to the long-stated wish to have a physical place where Quakers could gather for thought and action. Their response took the form of a plan for a dedicated campus, a Friends Center, where service organizations could be housed together to enable the synergies that come from physical proximity. The site they chose encorporates the Race Street Meetinghouse and its tree-filled courtyard. An adjacent 56,000 square foot office building was constructed in the early 1970s. The campus was dedicated as Friends Center in 1974.

The Friends Center campus has been home to diverse groups working for peace and justice.  The American Friends Service Committee, an international aid and development organization—recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Quakers worldwide—was founded here in 1917. Some prominent Philadelphia organizations such as Action AIDS and Women’s Way were welcomed as tenants at Friends Center when they were new and controversial. Friends Center currently houses nearly forty tenant organizations.

In addition to serving as the home to a host of vital organizations, the campus has often been at the center of events in the city. The meetinghouse has hosted memorial services where friends and colleagues gathered in remembrance of prominent members of the government and city life. It was a refuge for protesters at the 2000 Republican National Convention. It continues today as an organizing place for peace and human rights and a stepping off place for marches and vigils. Friends Center has hosted difficult and sometimes fractious groups, realizing the space would encourage dialogue by providing an atmosphere of respect and peaceful problem solving.

In 2009 Friends Center completed a major renovation of its facilities. Recognizing that competition for water and energy resources are increasingly the source of war and conflict, Friends Center made a commitment to becoming a living witness for environmental responsibility. The LEED Platinum renovation created a campus that is fossil-fuel free, produces zero carbon emissions, and protects the watershed from stormwater runoff.

Friends Center is committed to preserving its historic past, and continuing to shape the future. It is a living landmark that seeks to serve Philadelphia and the world for generations to come.

Accessibility: Friends Center, is an ADA-compliant building that offers ramped entry to the front of the building, elevator service between floors, and designated seating within the primary gathering space for wheelchair users. Although there is limited parking in front of Friends Center, there is a front loading zone near the corner curb cut for drop off.



Christ Church Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House is a performance venue and a catalyst for the arts on the historic Christ Church campus. We support artists through subsidized performance/rehearsal rentals in our namesake building, and we commission new site-specific works informed by our architecture and history.


Built by the Christ Church parish to serve the residents of industrial Old City, Neighborhood House opened its doors in 1915. In the late 1990s, local artists seeking unusual, flexible, and affordable venues for Live Arts/Fringe Festival performances discovered the building’s large, open spaces. The Neighborhood House program solidified around that homegrown demand and the facility advanced with it, greatly aided by the significant initial investments of the William Penn Foundation.

Today, in addition to housing the Christ Church Parish and Preservation Trust offices, Christ Church Neighborhood House serves a core constituency of cross-disciplinary performing artists who imagine new and experimental works in our ADA-accessible, 110-seat theater. The reach of our arts programming extends beyond the building walls to include concerts in the Christ Church sanctuary and commissions for every corner of our historical campus.

In 2016, we took over operation of the Farmers Market at Christ Church, formerly N3rd Street Farmers Market. Every Wednesday afternoon, May-November, we invite farmers, artisans, and the community onto the brick pavers outside the church gates.

Accessibility: Neighborhood House at Christ Church, where the Thursday evening event takes place, is a historic building with modern renovations. It is ADA-compliant, with removable ramp entry to the front door of the first floor up a short curb from a cobbled street. There is no parking in front of the building, and access to the ramped entry is recommended by vehicle drop off. There is an elevator to transport guests to the fourth floor Theater space for the event.



Icebox Project Space + Crane Arts Building

The Icebox Project Space is an innovative and experimental contemporary arts platform where visual artists, musicians, film makers, and performers are able to work, think, and collaborate within a uniquely large scale and open structure.    

Icebox Project Space facilitates projects that are a betterment of the community and push for social change. Icebox looks to artworks, performances, videos, movement, and sound that have a sense of urgency and relevance in and around Philadelphia. Icebox works with artists that are pushing against something, whether it is oppressive institutions, construction of identity, or even the creative process itself. The Icebox Project Space is housed in the Crane Arts Building.

Established in 2004, Crane Arts LLC is a unique community that supports the creative production and exhibition of work by both emerging and established artists.

Founded by artists Richard Hricko and Nicholas Kripal, Crane Arts mission is:

  • Creating a unique community that encourages and supports artistic production by both emerging and established artists.

  • Assisting the development and growth of Philadelphia’s creative resources, assets, and potential.

  • Creating a unique location for certain creativity-based businesses to thrive alongside the vibrant, Crane Arts community.

  • Providing unique space for the visual and performing arts to showcase events on a local, regional, and national scale.

Crane Arts is home to several artists’ studios and arts organizations, including Icebox Project Space, a Common Field Philadelphia Convening Partner, as well as Fjord Gallery, Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, InLiquid, and many more.

Accessibility: Icebox Project Space in the Crane Arts Building is the location of our Saturday evening event. It has ramped entry to the front doors from a sidewalk with curb cuts, and designated parking spots for disabled attendees directly in front. The event will take place across the first floor of the building.




Common Field has secured a limited number of reduced-rate rooms available on a first come, first-served basis, and identified a convenient and affordable hostel. We’ve visited both of these sites and have more details to share; get in touch with Maude at coordinator [​at​] if you have any questions about these accommodations.


The Philadelphia 201 Hotel, where we had a group block rate, has been fully booked. While the discounted group rate has concluded, we can recommend these other nearby options:


Apple Hostels of Philadelphia offers an affordable mix of dorm-style and private rooms in nearby Old City, and a block away from the 2nd St Station to catch the Market Frankford Line SEPTA train, which stops at City Hall two blocks from the Friends Center. Nightly rates range from $25.54 - $37.88 for shared rooms that sleep 4 - 18, and private rooms with multiple beds that sleep up to four range from $82.98 - $140.04. To make a reservation, click here.

These hotels are located close to our primary venue, Friends Center:

  • Le Meridien: right around the corner from Friends Center, a high-end and chic option

  • Marriott: another 4 star hotel at nearby Reading Terminal Market

  • The Windsor Suites: a Parkway suite option within a few blocks of Friends Center

  • Embassy Suites: only a couple blocks away on the Parkway, share options

  • Best Western Plus: budget option in the Convention Center, has double rooms for sharing deluxe rooms with kitchenettes


For those who are finding other accommodations, we can also recommend neighborhoods that are either nearby the Friends Center, or that are well-served by public transportation, including:

  • Center City: neighborhoods across Center City are served by busses, trolleys, and trains, and many are walkable to the Friends Center, which is located just northwest of City Hall in the middle of Center City.
  • Northeast Philadelphia: along the Market-Frankford Line train route (Market St, Frankford St, Front St).
  • West Philadelphia: along trolley routes (Baltimore Ave, Chester Ave), or on the Market-Frankford Line train route (Market St).



Philadelphia is served by Philadelphia International Airport, Amtrak, and many bus services for those travelling within the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Many fast and affordable train and bus options are available, and travel to two primary depots within Philadelphia: at or near 30th Street Station, or at the terminal or other stops in Chinatown.


From the Philadelphia International Airport Terminals in Southwest Philadelphia you can pick up the Airport Line to Center City, a service run by SEPTA. This train stops at 30th Street Station, Center City, and beyond. Purchase a SEPTA Key Quick Trip from the Fare Kiosks on the train platforms. The cost for a one-way trip to the Center City stations is $6.75. All other SEPTA stations are $9.25. More information on this travel can be found on SEPTA’s webpage for airport trips.

There is also a taxi stand on the main level, behind the building on the opposite side as the main exit and baggage claim area.

TO AND FROM THE 30th STREET STATION (Amtrak, Bolt Bus, MegaBus)

Amtrak: there are two stations in Philadelphia, and 30th Street Station is the most central and integrated with public transit options unless you are staying in North Philadelphia and have a ride lined up.

Bolt Bus: arrives and departs from 3101 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, outside of the 30th Street Station.

MegaBus: arrives and departs from 3101 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, outside of the 30th Street Station.


Greyhound Bus: arrives and departs from the Philadelphia Greyhound, 1001 Filbert Street

Peter Pan Bus: arrives and departs from the Philadelphia Bus Terminal, 1001 Filbert Street



In preparation for the Convening, please note that the Friends Center has a sustainability policy that requires that single-serving water bottles are not served. The Friends Center provides a bottle filling station in the central foyer, and we will have water available throughout with coffee and tea, and during lunch times. Please prepare to bring a water bottle to reuse throughout the Convening.

Philadelphia in the springtime can have highly variable weather. We recommend checking the forecasts, and preparing accordingly. Regardless of weather, comfortable shoes are recommended for travel between spaces.



SEPTA’s Train, Trolley, and Bus system is strongly recommended as your primary mode of transportation during your stay in Philadelphia. Taxis and rideshare (Lyft, Uber) also operate in Philadelphia, and there is a bike share system, Indego, that serves Center City. Car share services (Zipcar, Enterprise CarShare) and car rentals are also an option, though not recommended given Philadelphia’s traffic, narrow roads, lack of public parking, and expense of paid parking.


Philadelphia has an integrated public transit system, SEPTA, that includes bus service, subway, elevated train, regional rail, and trolley lines. Local tourism industry also provides PHLASH, a frequent weekend bus service loop within downtown that links Old City with City Center along Market St. Friends Center is conveniently located two blocks from City Hall / 15th Street Station, a major public transportation hub. Each of these transit options provide low-cost alternatives and offer full service to the parts of Philadelphia where the Convening and events take place.

Common Field recommends that attendees obtain a SEPTA Key Card, which can be purchased at the 15th Street Station two blocks away from Friends Center, or at five other locations ( SEPTA Key Cards can be loaded with a Weekly or Monthly TransPass, a One Day Convenience Pass, or funds can be loaded to the Travel Wallet that serves as a debit card.

For routes and schedules, click here. Or, download the Transit app, which integrates all public transit, bike share, rideshare, and walking options into one live-time service. 


  • SEPTA (bus, train, trolley): $2.50 per trip for single trip payment as cash or Quick Trip, or $2 per trip if using SEPTA Key Card

  • SEPTA (regional rail): variable between $4.25 and $10 depending on geographic zone, time of day, and day of week

  • Phlash: $2 a ride, $5 for a day, or free with SEPTA Key Card

  • Indego Bikes: Day Pass for $10, unlimited 30-min trips, $4/30 min beyond 30 min 

SEPTA fees are detailed, including several discount options, here


Carsharing companies active in Philadelphia include Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare. All of the major car rental agencies also operate in Philadelphia.




There are several parking lots and garages near Friends Center. Discounted parking is available on the east side of 15th Street, between Race & Cherry Street. Take your parking ticket with you, and ask the Friends Center receptionist to stamp it for the validated parking rate of $15.00 for the day (subject to change). There are numerous other options, including two city-owned garages also across the street, one on 15th Street between Cherry and Arch, and one on Cherry Street between 15th and 16th Streets.


Common Field believes in creating a fully accessible space for all attendees. Please notify us your accessibility needs as you register for the Convening or email us at The earlier we know, the better we can prepare. Let us know if you need listening devices, ASL interpretation, scent-free space, wheelchair accessibility or any other aids that will help us to create a better gathering for everyone. If you find yourself in need of specific support during the conference, please share them with our front desk.

Our main Convening venue, Friend Center, is an ADA-compliant building that offers ramped entry to the front of the building, elevator service between floors, and designated seating within the primary gathering space for wheelchair users. Although there is limited parking in front of Friends Center, there is a front loading zone near the corner curb cut for drop off.

Neighborhood House at Christ Church, where the Thursday evening event takes place, is a historic building with modern renovations. It is ADA-compliant, with removable ramp entry to the front door of the first floor up a short curb from a cobbled street. There is no parking in front of the building, and access to the ramped entry is recommended by vehicle drop off. There is an elevator to transport guests to the fourth floor Theater space for the event.

Icebox Project Space in the Crane Arts Building is the location of our Saturday evening event. It has ramped entry to the front doors from a sidewalk with curb cuts, and designated parking spots for disabled attendees directly in front. The event will take place across the first floor of the building.



As we get to know one another, instead of assuming someone’s gender by appearance or names, inquire respectfully about one’s preferred gender pronouns. Furthermore, attendees are encouraged to use gender neutral language in their presentations and discussions.

Gender inclusive bathrooms are located throughout the Convening locations.


Although Common Field is not able to provide childcare at the Convening, parents and caregivers of babies who do not require additional carers are welcomed to bring their little ones. Please reach out to Maude at coordinator [​at​] if you have any questions about space for breastfeeding and changing, or other questions or concerns about parenting at the Convening. If questions arise during the Convening, please check in with staff at the registration and info table.


The organizers of Common Field Convening strive to create an open and inclusive environment in which participants feel safe to take risks, and engage in challenging discussions. We see the need for safer spaces in all organizing and are committed to it as a 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. Below are some principles that guide our commitment to collective practice.

- Hold ourselves accountable first, and enter each space with a humble heart and loving criticality.​ Center care in our interactions with others and in representing our own needs.

- In order to grow a common field that is truly intersectional and inclusive, we need to recognize that inequity is systematic. Before entering each organizing space, take a moment to acknowledge our own differences and be honest about our own privileges and power. ​Make a conscious effort to resist ableism, racism, classism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia in our language, imagery, and examples.

​-​ Prioritize listening is essential in creating inclusive space. When we listen, center the voices of people with disability, trans & queer, black & brown, low-income, non-English speaking or other non-white folks. Silence can be helpful especially when it means we are actively listening and processing.

- Rather than reacting to one’s immediate need to manage disagreement or achieve perfection, give space for discomfort, mistakes, vulnerability and non-closure. It is often through mistakes and discomfort that we grow.

- Respect each other's privacy and personal boundaries, including confidentiality. Understand that safety, accessibility and personal boundaries mean different things for different people. The way to create a safer and more accessible space for everyone is to ask respectfully and learn from one another interpersonally.

- Have fun. Take breaks. Allow space for yourself and others to enter and leave according to their needs.

The planning of our convenings is always a collaborative and learning effort with many different parties involved. We welcome any suggestions and feedback that will help us to take better care of each other intentionally and creatively throughout the convening and beyond. If you encounter any difficulties during the event, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at the front desk or email us at

To learn more about safer space and other facilitation tools, please visit:

Safe Space: a tool for allowing deep and consensual dialogue by Berkeley Student Cooperative

Participants Agreement by Allied Media Conference



Philadelphia is a hub of arts, culture, and history, and there is much to explore while you’re in town, from house museums to historic sites, artist collective spaces to thrift and book stores. It is also a city between two rivers—the Delaware and the Schuylkill—and with the enormous Fairmount Park-Wissahickon Valley Park system.


Philadelphia Arts Resources:

Check out The Artblog Map ( to find out more about art spaces and venues you can visit while in Philadelphia! The Artblog Map is a comprehensive view of the sprawling and lively Philadelphia art community.


The Artblog Map is supported by Common Field, with additional support from Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.


We can also recommend these local arts publications:


Title Magazine

Streets Dept - street art blog


General Philadelphia + History:

Visit Philly: Official Visitor & Tourism Office

Hidden City Philadelphia

Atlas Obscura Philadelphia




Amenities Near Friends Center:

Restaurants + Cafes

Tableau Cafe at PAFA: 128 N Broad St

Has coffee, tea, fresh baked goods, soups, salads, sandwiches

Cafe Old Nelson: 1435 Arch St

Small convenience market with deli serving sandwiches, bagels, and coffee to go, as well as convenience store items

Green Line Cafe: 1650 Arch St

Coffee shop that also serves tea, pastries, breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, and other quick bites

Reading Terminal Market: 51 N 12th St

Indoor market with many prepared food vendors, groceries, and specialty food purveyors

Dizengoff: 1625 Sansom St

Fast eat in or take out menu of hummus, pita, and Middle Eastern salads



Walgreens Pharmacy: 1617 John F Kennedy Blvd

CVS Pharmacy: 1424 Chestnut St

Convenience Stores

Wawa: 1707 Arch St

7-Eleven: 150 N Broad St


JFK Plaza / LOVE Park: site of the Robert Indiana LOVE statue, meeting place, and public gathering place

Dilworth Park: the west side of City Hall, a hardscaped park with a fountain


Quaker Tradition

At Friends Center, The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) reaches out to serve the city, the region, and the world. The Friends Center campus has long been a center for organizing for peace and justice and for gathering people together to wrestle with the issues of the day. Peace and Justice Organizations at Friends Center include: American Friends Service Committee, Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, Community Ventures, and Prisoner Visitation and Support.


Throughout the history of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers have worked to foster harmony in the world. From the very beginnings of Quakerism in the 1650s to today, Quakers have felt called by God (whom they believe that each person can have direct and guiding experience with) to work for peace and justice. Quakers have engaged in work to end war and mitigate the effects of war, prison reform, racial and economic justice, and care for the earth and all its inhabitants. Quakers are guided by a commitment to work for peace and nonviolence, to live simply and with integrity, and to treat each person with respect. Quakers have historically been active members of social justice movements, and continue to imprint on the social and cultural life of Philadelphia through activist organizations, schools, and even artworks such as James Turrell’s Skyspace at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting in Northwest Philadelphia.