Convening 2019

Philadelphia, Apr 25–28

General Info

Mark your calendars! The next Common Field Convening will take place in Philadelphia, PA. From April 25 - 28, 2019, nearly 500 arts organizers will gather for three days of dialog, discussion, debate, workshops, and practical and social exchanges exploring the state of the artist organization field. This will accompany dinners, performances, and thoughtful evening programming planned in collaboration with Philadelphia’s artist organization community. Stay tuned for more details.

We’re excited to leap forward to the spring of 2019, instead of hosting the Convening in the fall as we’ve done in the past. We believe that more time to plan and engage the local and national artist organization network will lead to a more thoughtful, inclusive and impactful gathering.

The Common Field Convening is an itinerant gathering that brings together organizers nationwide to share resources, knowledge and methods for artist-led, run, and centered projects, spaces and practices. Check out the 2017 Convening archive here.

Philadelphia Partners

We’re excited to announce our growing list of 2019 Philadelphia Convening partners who are working with Common Field to shape the Convening program, sites, commissions, and local goals. Partners are not only visionary leaders and deep collaborators on this project, but are materially supported our work by sharing space, hosting events and meetings, and generously connecting this work to their constituencies and networks. Partners include:

Asian Arts Initiative
BlackStar Film Festival
Grizzly Grizzly
Icebox Project Space
Philadelphia Contemporary
Street Road
Li Sumpter
Taller Puertorriqueño
Temple Contemporary
The Colored Girls Museum
Daniel Tucker
Vox Populi

(List in Formation) 

Philadelphia Network Members

More than 50 Philadelphia region Organizations and Organizers are members of the Common Field network. Common Field is profoundly grateful for their contributions and hopes to create a more visible and connected local ecology through and beyond the Convening.

(Note: This list grows daily! If your organization is not listed, please contact us.)

Organizational Network Members

All That Philly Jazz
The Artblog
Asian Arts Initiative
the B(A)LM
Bartram's Garden
BlackStar Film Festival
Brew House Association
Collaborative Cataloging Japan
The Colored Girls Museum
Creative Resilience Collective
The Creative Vision Factory
Esther Klein Gallery
Extension or Communication
Fleisher Art Memorial
Fortress Arts Academy
Garden of Forking Paths
Grizzly Grizzly
Icebox Project Space
Jefferson Humanities & Health /Thomas Jefferson University
Just Act
Lightbox Film Center
Little Berlin
The Maas Building
Painted Bride Art Center
People's Paper Co-op
Philadelphia Contemporary
The Philadelphia Student Union
Street Road
Taller Puertorriqueño
Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art
Termite TV Collective
Title Magazine
Twelve Gates Arts
The Village of Arts and Humanities
Vox Populi


Organizer Network Members

Stephanie Bursese
Samantha Connors
Bailey + Dodds
Anna Drozdowski
Maria Dumlao
Lillian Dunn
Cari Freno
E. Maude Haak-Frendscho
Angelica Hue
Alison Kruvant
Natalie Lascek
Tiona Nekkia McClodden
Leah Modigliani
Daniel Park
Aislinn Pentecost-Farren
Tina Plokarz
Li Sumpter
Daniel Tucker
Chanel Williams
Brooke O'Harra
Julia Staples

Common Field Events in Philadelphia

Common Field continues to learn from and build relationships with Philadelphia’s artist organization community.

Thursday, December 3, 2017
Philadelphia Art Organizer Meet-Up at Slought

Friday, April 21, 2018
Philadelphia Art Organizer Social at Asian Arts Initiative

Philly Field Conversations:
In June and July we co-organized the Philly Field Conversations, a series of collaboratively organized events facilitated by local arts leaders who prompt dialogue on an issue or range of topics central to Philadelphia arts organizing. Common Field initiated the series to engage with the core concerns of the local arts landscape through discussion and discovery, and continue to utilize what’s learned in the process toward partner and program development for the 2019 Convening in Philadelphia.

See event page for full details.

Conversation #1 with Ulises
Facilitated by Ulises co-founders
Monday, June 11, 2018, 6:30-8:30PM
Download notes from Ulises Conversation here

Conversation #2 with Taller Puertorriqueño
Facilitated by Rafael Damast (Taller Puertorriqueño) and José Ortiz Pagán (Fleisher Art Memorial)
Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 6:30-8:30PM
Download notes from the Taller Puertorriqueño Conversation here

Conversation #3 with Philadelphia Contemporary
Conversation with Rob Blackson (Temple Contemporary), Homer Jackson (Philly Jazz Project), and Trapeta Mayson (poet, Historic Germantown). Facilitated by Nicole Pollard (Philadelphia Contemporary)
Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:30-8:30PM
*Off-Site Location: Uncle Bobbie’s People’s Education Center
Download notes from Philadelphia Conversation here

Conversation #4 with Asian Arts Initiative
Facilitated by Daniel Park (designation??) with an introduction by Carol Zou (Asian Arts Initiative)
Saturday, July 21, 2018, 1:00-3:00PM
Download notes from the Asian Arts Iniative Conversation here

Convening Schedule

This is a brief Convening overview that is subject to change. Be sure to check back regularly to see the full schedule. Take a look at the 2017 Los Angeles Convening schedule here.



10:00 AM - 5:00 PM / Pre-Conference and Network Gatherings (Separate registration required)
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM / OPTIONAL: Off-Site Programs, Tours and Adventures around Philadelphia
6:30 - 10:00 PM / Convening Registration & Check In
6:30 - 10:00 PM / Official Convening Kick-off Party


FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2019

9:00 AM  - 6:00 PM / Convening Registration & Check In
9:00 - 9:45 AM / Breakfast available. Coffee available all day.
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM / Convening Sessions
7:30 - 11:00 PM / Satellite Dinners around Philadelphia



9:00 AM  - 5:00 PM / Convening Registration & Check In
9:00 - 10:00 AM / Breakfast available. Coffee available all day.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM / Convening Sessions
5:00 - 8:00 PM / Break and Dinner on your own
8:00 PM - MIDNIGHT /Evening Program and Closing Night Celebration


SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2019

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM / OPTIONAL: Reflection, Wrap-Up and Closing Meeting
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM / OPTIONAL: Off-Site Programs, Tours and Adventures around Philadelphia

Convening Venue

The core 2019 Philadelphia Convening sessions will take place at the Friends Center: The Quaker Hub for Peace and Justice, a center for many organizations working for peace and social justice and a hub for local and global Quaker activity. Learn more about them at

Open Call for Proposals

The deadline for the Open Call for Proposals has passed. The below information is for reference only. 

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. To learn more about joining, visit 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.

READ Open Call Guidelines

APPLY Online 

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



Lead support for the 2019 Philadelphia Common Field Convening has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Additional support is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage