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Convening 2021

Online, Nov 4 – 13

2021 Convening: Sustaining Futures

For the first time, Common Field’s Convening will gather around a theme, Sustaining Futures. Oriented towards our work ahead, Sustaining Futures seeks to embrace a plurality of strategies, ideas, and expressions of how to sustain our values in practice while remaining responsive to local, national, and global shifts beyond the horizon of tomorrow.

Emerging in response to a need for reflection, solidarity, and sharing, this year’s Convening theme provides a framework for addressing where we’ve been and how we commit to our values today and in the future. In a time when our communities are faced with ongoing inequity, injustice, and violence, Common Field offers this year’s Convening as a place to build resilience and dream together.

Sustainability requires a sense of collective purpose and responsibility. The emerging forms of our field depend on how we bring our minds and hearts together now. This year’s Convening hopes to encourage connection and dialog around building a shared sense of purpose.

Common Field believes practitioners, thinkers, artists, organizers, advocates and workers across the field coming together fosters a place of possibility. We hope you’ll join us at this year’s Convening to share, enter into, and shape the work of sustaining our futures.

Open Call for Sessions

Our 2021 Convening Open Call for Sessions closed on Monday, June 14, 2021. Proposals are currently under review, and applicants will be notified of the status of their proposals by Friday, July 30, 2021. We'll share a full Convening program schedule out with our Network when Convening registration opens later this year.

Partners

A group of individuals and organizations, our Convening Partners reflect a broad range of places, identities, scales, and focus – all working in intentional and reflective ways to build what’s needed for the road ahead.

For 2021, we are proud to be in collaboration with:
 

  • AS220 Providence, Rhode Island
    A non-profit community arts organization in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, founded on the principle that freedom of expression is crucial for the development of strong communities and individual spirits. 
     
  • Center for Afrofuturist Studies – Iowa City, Iowa
    An artist residency program of Public Space One that reimagines the futures of marginalized people by creating dynamic workspaces for artists of color. Dynamic means interactive, supportive, community-engaged, rigorous, and inclusive.
     
  • Martina Dodd (she/her) – Atlanta, Georgia
    An art historian and curator whose concept driven shows have touched on topics relating to race, gender, and power dynamics.
     
  • Racing Magpie – Rapid City, South Dakota
    A Lakota-centric arts and culture organization, founded in 2015 to center the Lakota practice of being a good relative in everything that one does. Racing Magpie's work is focused on elevating and amplifying the ongoing work of community-based artists and culture bearers.
     
  • S Rodriguez (they/them) – Dallas, Texas
    An interdisciplinary artist, writer, arts organizer, and co-creator of Paraspace Books – a transient bookstore dedicated to queer sci-fi and speculative fiction.
     
  • Wide AwakesGlobal
    An open-source network who radically reimagine the future through creative collaboration.

Sustainability requires a sense of collective purpose and responsibility, and the emerging forms of our field depend on how we bring our minds and hearts together now. We welcome our Partners as collaborators in our work of building resilience and dreaming together.

Program

The 2021 Convening welcomes our Partners, Network, and larger communities of practice to share, explore, and exchange thinking, dreaming, and strategizing towards the kinds of futures we want to hold together.

This year’s program areas are shaped to consider how Common Field’s Convening and its resources can best serve our communities’ current needs. As always, our Convening includes a juried Open Call for session proposals from our Network – welcoming all members of our field to offer their ideas and expertise to the Convening through conversations, panels, workshops, and alternative forms of engagement.

In the months leading up to the Convening, we’ll be organizing a series of free, virtual Pre-Convening Programs focusing on professional development in the context of organizational transformation. This year, a selection of our Partners will also be curating a selection of Fellowship Projects as part of the Convening program. Artists and groups invited as Fellows will receive a stipend to support work-in-progress that can engage with the Convening and its participants for further development.

In addition to virtual opening and closing social events, Sustaining Futures will feature a Partner-curated Marquee Project offering participants a material experience in the form of a curated welcome package arriving by mail. Our annual Convening Publication, included in this package, will further explore our theme with voices from across our Network. Finally, our 2021 Scholarship Program will provide participants with financial support to offset costs associated with lost income, childcare, technology, and other barriers to virtual attendance, in addition to free Convening registration.

This year, we’ll also be working to offer more intimate and open virtual spaces for dialog and rest during the Convening, and remain committed to facilitating open and accessible spaces for Convening sessions and programs.

Support

Lead support for the Common Field Convening has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional significant support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.