Who is the Common Field Convening for?

This Convening welcomes people involved with visual arts organizations, spaces and projects that are self-organized, independent, experimental or noncommercial; people working at organizations that value artist-run, artist-led and artist-centric priorities; researchers and historians studying the field today; arts funders and others that support or engage the field; and those simply interested in learning more about this community.


What's the weather like?

For the latest Philadelphia weather forecast and a list of average monthly temperatures, click here.  

What does the Convening have to do with Common Field?

The Convening is the annual opportunity for Common Field network members and friends to gather, exchange, and connect in person.


How is the Convening organized?

The Common Field Convening is organized by a coalition of local organizing partners along with support from Common Field's national staff. Generally, the local partners determine the program themes and issues, and national team provides advice and support on structure, communications, and engagement. Local partners and Common Field co-organized four conversational Philadelphia-based events in the summer of 2018 to help shape the thinking for this year’s Convening. Common Field launched an Open Call for Sessions in August 2018, and a jury comprised of three national community members and three local partners selected 23 break-out sessions, which comprise the bulk of the 2019 Convening program.


Is public transportation available?

Yes, public transportation is available. Philadelphia has an integrated public transit system, SEPTA, that includes bus service, subway, elevated train, regional rail, and trolley lines. The 15th Street / City Hall Station is 0.2 miles (approx. 5 min walking) from the Friends Center.

Explore the SEPTA website for additional public transportation information. For specific public transportation information to and from hotels/housing to the Convening, Transit app can be used to plan your trip!


What is the cancellation and refund policy?

Common Field will honor requests for refunds made on or before April 1, 2019. Requests must be sent to Crystal at, and include the Order Number and Contact Information for the person who registered.

I am having trouble with housing reservations. Who can help?

If you need to make changes to your reservation, please contact the hotel directly. If you are experiencing difficulty making reservations or would like to report a problem, please contact us by e-mail at

I'm not sure I can afford a Convening ticket. Is is possible to get a discounted rate?

All Common Field members receive a discounted price for passes, including the more affordable Day Pass option. Local residents can volunteer during the Convening in exchange for complimentary admission. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact E. Maude Haak-Frendscho at


Local residents can volunteer during the Convening in exchange for complimentary admission. We are seeking volunteer assistance for the Convening from Wednesday, April 24th through Saturday, April 27th. Volunteer work will span registration, set-up, breakdown, and party help among our main and offsite venues. We’re excited to offer Convening Passes to volunteers who work two designated shifts, a total of eight hours. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out this form ASAP and Volunteer Manager Connie Yu ( will contact you.

How can I get involved in producing content?

The Convening program is designed by the local partners, with national leadership from Common Field's staff and national network and through sessions proposed via our Open Call. We are no longer currently accepting ideas for sessions or events.

I run a little art space on a shoestring budget. Why is the Convening worth the expense?

The Common Field Convening is an opportunity to meet others working in the field—radical arts administrators, curators, artists who build platforms for other artists, and staff at organizations. Some people work at established non-profits, others collectives, and others at artist studios. The Convening offers four days of energy, conversation, dialogue, debate, and most importantly—connections with others working in the field. Most attendees leave with a renewed sense of purpose about their work, opportunities for collaboration, ideas about how to practice their job better, and a network of friends for ongoing mentorship and support. Funders and supporters also attend the convening, so it can be an opportunity to learn directly about how to get support for your projects alongside insights from peers.


The Convening cost is meant to be accessible to all. Tickets include meals on Friday and Saturday as well.


What % of the content is focused on local vs. national issues?

The Common Field Convening themes are determined by the local organizers and are conscientiously chosen to respond to issues and debates going on in the national and local field. The host city offers a context, flavor, and environmental lens through which to examine and discuss issues unfolding on a national scale. We aim to make the Convening content relevant to organizers coming from Philadelphia and beyond. At the Philadelphia Convening, breakouts will provide important opportunities for specific conversations and debates around key issues.

How is the Convening location chosen?

Common Field looks for locations that can accommodate national visitors, contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the dynamics and opportunities of our field, have the ability to garner financial support, and most importantly, that the Common Field Convening can contribute in a positive way to the dialogue and capacity of that city. To find out more about hosting the Convening in your location, e-mail Courtney Fink, Common Field Executive Director, at courtney [​at​]

Do you have any recommendations for dining options?

Your Convening ticket includes light breakfast and lunch events on Friday and Saturday during the convening. However, there is plenty of time to explore Philadelphia’s diverse and eclectic culinary options. The Friends Center is also located within the more expansive Center City of Philadelphia. If you have the time, feel free to venture out and explore more of what Philadelphia has to offer.

Recommended eats near Friend’s Center include: Tableau Cafe at PAFA (128 N. Broad St.),

Cafe Old Nelson (1435 Arch St.), Green Line Cafe (1650 Arch St.), Reading Terminal Market (51 N. 12th St.), Dizengoff (1625 Sansom St.)

Recommended eats near Crane Arts include: Cheu Noodle Fishtown (1416 Frankford Ave.), Fette Sau BBQ (1208 Frankford Ave.), Johnny Brenda’s (1201 Frankford Ave.), Original 13 Ciderworks (1526 N American St.), Que Chula Es Puebla (1356 N 2nd St.), St. Benjamin’s Brewing Company (1710 N 5th St.), and Sutton’s (1706 N 5th St.).

I have accessibility needs. How do I notify staff?

We would like to ensure that your experience at the Convening is pleasant and comfortable. Please make sure to indicate your specific requests in the designated area on the registration form. You may also contact Crystal by e-mail at convening [​at​], or phone at (626) 566-8984.