Contact: Courtney Fink, Executive Director, courtney [​at​]

Contact: Ikram Lakhdhar, Communications and Network Membership Manager, hello [​at​]


PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 3, 2019)—Common Field, the only network in the country connecting independent, experimental, contemporary visual arts organizations and organizers, brings arts organizers together from across the country for its annual Convening, taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from April 25-28, 2019.

The Common Field Convening is an itinerant gathering that brings together 500+ local and national arts organizers to explore the state of the field of artists organizations and to share resources, knowledge and methods for the artist-led, artist-run, and artist-centered projects, spaces and practices.

The Convening opens up a generous space for local and national peers to share strategies, methods, resources and envision the future of the artists’ organization field together. There is an urgency to gather around issues of social justice and equity as well as practical needs and tools for many organizations in the Network-- hence the Common Field Convening provides an inclusive platform for arts organizers to have critical conversations about the current social and political climate.

Registration to attend is open and passes are available online at Common Field offers a range of registration options from 65 USD for a day pass, to 125 USD for a members pass and 150 USD for non-members. Tickets are still available but are selling out quickly.

Philadelphia is known for its many small-scale, artist-run, informal and experimental artist organizations. As a platform for gathering these communities, the Convening recognizes the value of their contributions as a critical and central part of the city’s cultural fabric. The Convening builds awareness of these practices that often take place in unique contexts, and serve and represent more diverse communities. It is a critically relevant moment to unite around common and uncommon causes, and the future. Common Field seeks to connect the local contexts and conditions in Philadelphia, with the interests of the national Common Field Network across the US.

Explore the vital four day program of 30+ sessions and workshops, presented by 100+ leading national arts organizers bringing critical thinking and visioning from the field. The Convening also includes practical and social exchanges, tours, shared meals, commissions, performances, and creative evening programs, which will be held at a constellation of venues across Philadelphia. Attendees will also participate in evening parties including special Satellite Dinners hosted by 20+ local arts organizers.

The 2019 Convening features 23 break-out sessions selected from a free, open call for proposals. It will support 84 presenters through these 23 sessions with a speaker honorarium as well as a travel stipend for those traveling from outside of Philadelphia. Eighteen local artists have been commissioned to do new projects featured during the Convening. Highlights include a tour of The Colored Girls Museum, facilitated small and full-group conversations, and brief presentations from special guests, and local arts organizers.

Break Out sessions feature a unique critical array of themes and topics that survey the contemporary arts field; these include: Out of Sight: A Conversation on Visual Arts Podcasting, organized by Dana Bassett, Bad at Sports, Practicing a Politics of Difference in Arts & Culture, organized by Kimi Hauner, Press Press, Can Artists Be Policy Makers?, organized by Darryl Ratcliff, Creating Our Future, Integration vs. Inclusion: an experiment in community, organized by Carissa Burkett, Public Annex, and Performing Identity: Artist + Curator + Activist, organized by Ashley DeHoyos, DiverseWorks.

Common Field began laying the foundation for the Philadelphia Convening in late 2017, and has worked closely with an extensive network of advisors, network members and 14 Local Convening Partners to collaboratively and contextually shape this year’s program.

The 2019 Convening is organized by Common Field together with a network of Philadelphia partners and members from it’s national network of 700+. Local partners have worked together to shape the Convening goals, program, sites and commissions over the past year. Partners include Asian Arts Initiative, BlackStar Film Festival, Grizzly Grizzly, Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia Contemporary, Slought, Street Road, Li Sumpter, Taller Puertorriqueño, Temple Contemporary, The Colored Girls Museum, Daniel Tucker, Ulises, and Vox Populi, in addition to Common Field’s local Member Network of 80+ Philadelphia based organizations and organizers.

Common Field is a national network of independent visual arts organizers that advocates for the artist-centered field. It aims to increase understanding of artist organizations and strengthen their capacity through national connectivity and support. Since its founding in 2013 and launch in 2015, its Network has grown to 700+ members across the US.


Generous lead support for the Common Field 2019 Philadelphia Convening is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Support is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional local support is provided by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.