Convening 2017

Los Angeles, Nov 2–5

Common Field’s Convening is an itinerant annual gathering that brings together 350+ local and national organizers to explore the state of the field of arts organizing and to share resources, knowledge and methods for artist-led, artist-run, and artist-centered projects, spaces and practices.

The Convening aims to develop local and national peer connectivity and to build knowledge from and for the field. Convenings connect the interests of the national Common Field membership to the issues and conditions specific to the location in which they are held.

This year’s program commits to even more participation from our network. More than half the sessions were selected from an our first ever Convening Open Call for proposals.

Common Field invites you to join in on a one-of-a-kind arts organizing experience. See you in LA!

Why L.A.?

This is the first year the Convening will be held on the West Coast, in a city in which Common Field has decided to set down its roots.

Los Angeles has provided especially fertile ground for the rapid expansion of our artist organization community. It’s an ideal time, we believe, to connect the interests, themes and issues of the national Common Field membership with the contexts and conditions specific to this sprawling, rousing, complex city.

The Convening provides an opportunity to showcase Los Angeles’ expansive artist-run community. It brings together many small-scale, emergent, experimental organizations in dialog to shape the national conversation for the field. It amplifies the local artist-centered community to the larger LA arts ecosystem, the national field of visual arts organizations and hopefully far beyond.

Los Angeles is in the midst of major boom among large institutions. Likewise, there have never been more artist organizations and projects. At the same time, there is a high profile, hard line battle unfolding around art washing, displacement and gentrification.

How does this moment of extreme growth and change impact artists and organizers? On top of that, the extreme unrest in the political arena has shifted the purpose and work of many of the organizations in Common Field’s network towards issues of social justice, equity, and environmental issues - making it a critically relevant moment to gather, organize and unite around common and uncommon causes, ideas and the future.


Founded in 1971, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center is one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the United States. A hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture and a community gathering place for the diverse voices it inspires – Japanese American Cultural & Community Center connects traditional and contemporary; community participants and creative professionals; Southern California and the world beyond.

Since first opening its doors in 1980, JACCC has evolved into one of the largest ethnic art and cultural centers in the U.S. Its owned-and-operated facilities include the Center Building (which houses the George J. Doizaki Gallery, the Japanese Cultural Room, conference and meeting rooms, and office space for more than 20 nonprofit tenant organizations), the 880-seat Aratani Theatre,  JACCC Plaza designed by Isamu Noguchi, and the award-winning James Irvine Japanese Garden.



The Center for Land Use Interpretation
Human Resources
Materials & Applications
Women’s Center for Creative Work


Dana Bishop-Root, Transformazium (Braddock, PA)
Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-bow School of Art (Saugatuck, MI)
Courtney Fink, Common Field (Los Angeles, CA)
Matthew Fluharty, Art of the Rural (Winona, MN)
Deana Haggag, United States Arists (Chicago, IL)
Stephanie Sherman, (London, UK)
Aurora Tang, Center for Land Use Interpretation (Los Angeles, CA)


Eastside International
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
Machine Project
Side Street Projects
The Velaslavasay Panorama


More than 40 Los Angeles organizations 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.

18th Street Arts Center, 356 S. Mission Rd., 3307 W Washington Blvd, Art and Cake, Armory Center for the ArtsArt Share L.A.AutomataBed and Breakfast, Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), Chin’s Push,Clockshop, Coaxialcontemptorary, de LaB, Durden and Ray,East of Borneo, Eastside International, Fathomers, Gas, High Desert Test Sites, Human Resources, Incendiary Traces, JOAN,KCHUNG, Knowledges, LA River Public Art Project, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Machine Project, Maiden LA, Metabolic Studio, Metro Art, Materials and Applications, NowSpaceOoga Booga​Panel, Public MattersSelf Help Graphics & Art,Sidestreet Projects, SoftCore LAThank You for ComingThe Southland InstituteThe Underground MuseumThe Velaslavasay PanoramaWomen’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW)X-Tra Contemporary Art Quarterly.

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


Thanks to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Metabolic Studio for their lead support of the 2017 Los Angeles Convening. Additional support is provided by The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, The Wilhelm Family Foundation and Common Field’s Membership Network.

Special thanks to Common Field Founding organization Space Gallery for their fiscal partnership for the Common Field 2017 Convening.

We'd also like to thank Fort Point Beer Company, SOTO Sake, Spindrift, and Topo Chico for their generous in-kind sponsorship, Side Street Projects for generously loaning Common Field projectors and equipment, all Convening volunteers, Satellite Dinner Hosts, and Carol Onaga and Michelle Moreno of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo.

And, lastly, thanks to Rosten Woo for sharing the work of Takachizu with Common Field; to Scott Oshima from the JACCC, Sustainable Little Tokyo, Little Tokyo Service Center, and Little Tokyo Community Council for sharing their work with Common Field and its member network; and to Midori Mizuhara and Regina Alcazar from Go Little Tokyo for the Little Tokyo Food Guide. 

Founding and ongoing support for Common Field is generously provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by The Hemera Foundation.


Thanks to the Common Field 2017 Convening Collaborators!


Jia Gu / Materials + Applications; Eric Kim / Human Resources; Aurora Tang / Center for Land Use Interpretation; Sarah Williams / Women’s Center for Creative Work; Amanda Choo Quan, Communications & Members Manager / Common Field; Lindsey Lee Eichenberger, Convening Coordinator / Common Field; Courtney Fink, Director / Common Field; Hannah Grossman, Convening Manager / Common Field


Amanda Choo Quan, Communications & Members Manager; Lindsey Lee Eichenberger, Convening Coordinator; Courtney Fink, Director; Hannah Grossman, Convening Manager 


Dana Bishop-Root, Transformazium (Braddock, PA); Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-bow School of Art (Saugatuck, MI); Matthew Fluharty, Art of the Rural (Winona, MN); Anne Focke (Seattle, WA); Deana Haggag, United States Artists (Chicago, IL); sharon maidenberg, Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA); Nat May, Hewnoaks Artist Colony (Portland, ME); James McAnally, The Luminary and Temporary Review (St. Louis, MO); Cameron Shaw, Pelican Bomb (New Orleans, LA); Stephanie Sherman, (London, UK); Aurora Tang, Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) (Los Angeles, CA); Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace (New York, NY)


Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-bow School of Art (Saugatuck, MI): Courtney Fink, (Formerly @ Southern Exposure, SF, CA): Nat May, SPACE (Portland, ME): Abigail Satinsky, (Formerly @ Threewalls, Chicago, IL): Shannon Stratton (Formerly @ Threewalls, Chicago, IL).