Convening 2020

Houston, Texas, Apr 23–26

About the Convening

The Common Field Convening is a national itinerant gathering that brings together 500+ visual arts organizers from across the country to share resources, ideas and methods for artist-led, artist-run, and artist-centered spaces, projects and practices. The goal of the convening is to develop local and national peer connectivity, to build knowledge from the field and create a growing set of resources to share broadly. The project connects and incorporate the urgent interests, themes and issues of the national Common Field network with the issues, contexts, and conditions specific to Houston. 

The primary program of break out sessions, discussions, workshops, and presentations will be accompanied by performances, guided tours, and evening programming planned in collaboration with Houston’s artist organization communities. More details forthcoming!

We’re excited to be collaborating with so many dedicated and thoughtful arts organizers in Houston who are serving as leaders in the development of the 2020 Convening as organizing partners. Check out the Convening archive here to learn more about the Convening history and past five Convening programs. 

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Schedule Overview

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 2019 Philadelphia Convening schedule here.

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM / Pre-Convening and Network Gatherings (Separate registration required)
6:30 - 10:00 PM / Convening Registration & Check In
6:30 - 10:00 PM / Official Convening Kick-off Party

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020
8:30 AM  - 6:00 PM / Convening Registration & Check In
8:30 - 9:00 AM / Breakfast available. Coffee available all day
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM / Convening Sessions
6:30 - 8:00 / Common Field Happy Hour + Affinity Group Happy Hours
7:30 - 11:00 pm / Community Programming around Houston

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 - 7:30 PM / Break
8:00 PM - MIDNIGHT / Dinner and Closing Night Celebration

SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2020
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM / Post-Convening Programs and Tours 

Houston Partners

Houston Convening Partners are a group of dedicated arts organizing leaders who are working with Common Field to shape the Convening program, sites, commissions, and local goals for long-term impact. Partners are not only visionary leaders and collaborators on this project, but materially support the work of this gathering by sharing space, hosting events and meetings, and generously connecting the Convening with their constituencies and networks. 

We welcome collaborators of many types—independent organizers, collectives, project spaces, formal organizations—and at various levels of commitment, including full organizing partners and those proposing sessions for the Convening through the open call. Please reach out if you’re interested in finding out more by contacting Crystal Baxley, Convening Program Director, at for more information.

Partners List: 

Art League Houston
Aurora Picture Show
Emily Sloan (Mystic Lyon)
Galveston Arts Center
Henry G. Sanchez (Law Office Center for Citizenship and Art & The BioArt Bayou-torium)
Lawndale Art Center
Megan Sparks (The Resistance Healing Clinic)
Project Row Houses 
Rothko Chapel



Houston Advisors

Thanks to the following Houston arts leaders who have offered their time, ideas and support to Common Field in realizing the 2020 Convening. (List in formation) 

Karen Farber, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, University of Houston
Joe Havel, Glassell School of Art
Sixto Wagan, Center for Art and Social Engagement (CASE), University of Houston
Christine West, Cultural Programs Manager, Houston First

Houston Network

Houston boasts a robust artist-centered organizing field, and there are many Organizations and Organizers members of the Common Field Network in Houston and its surrounding area. Common Field is pleased to acknowledge this critical mass of arts organizers who undertake the daily work of making visible and accessible the vibrant local arts landscape, and whose creative labors inform and guide the 2020 Houston Convening.

Please note that this list continues to grow! 
(List updated: 10/01/19)

Organization Network Members:

Alabama Song
Art League Houston
Aurora Picture Show
Civic TV Laboratories
Community Artists' Collective
Fresh Arts
Galveston Arts Center
Houston Center for Photography
Klein Arts & Culture
Lawndale Art Center
Mystic Lyon 
Nameless Sound
Project Row Houses 
Rothko Chapel
Studio Enertia
The Devon Center for the Visual and Expressive Arts

Organizer Network Members:

Ashley Dehoyos
Camilo Gonzalez
Christine West
Christine Garvey
Dennis Nance
Donna E. Perkins
​Eepi Chaad
Kaitlyn Ellison
Laura Spector
Laura Napier
Liyen Chong
Megan Sparks
Penelope Boyer
Sidney Garrett 

Common Field Events in Houston

Common Field is dedicated to building knowledge about the field from within it, led by practitioners who continue to define best practices and develop new approaches to artist-centered organizing. To that end, we engage with local arts organizers in Houston at several points in the organizing process.


January 22, 2019
Houston Common Field Meet-Up at Aurora Picture Show

Organized by Art League Houston, Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks, Galveston Arts Center and Project Row Houses with Common Field.

This event was a conversation, gathering and program for artist-centered spaces, projects and organizers. The Common Field Houston Meet-Up brought together 100+ arts organizers to discuss challenges, opportunities, and ideas relevant to their local context. Attendees also learned more about how Common Field serves as a national resource to connect a broader field of artist-centric spaces and projects across the country. Download and read notes from the meet up here.



Lead support for the 2020 Philadelphia Common Field Convening has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

To find out how to support the 2020 Houston Convening and join as a sponsor, please please contact Courtney Fink, Executive Director at courtney [​at​]