2016 Spring News

Common Field is a national network connecting contemporary, experimental, noncommercial visual arts organizations. Common Field produces convenings, research, advocacy, resources, and exchanges that build visibility and viability for artist spaces and initiatives across the US and beyond.


Common Field's annual Convening will bring together 350+ organizers this year in Miami, FL from October 20-23, 2016 for three days of dialogue, debate, practical and social exchanges exploring the state of our field. This year's lead partners--Bas Fisher International, Cannonball, Dimensions Variable, and Locust Projects--with groups from across Miami and a national convening team are working together to compose an unforgettable experience. This years convening will include more working groups, practical resources, hospitality options and presenting opportunities than ever before. Read more.


Since launching in September 2015, 304 members from 32 states have joined Common Field. Aligning together, Common Field members are raising the visibility of artist-centered organizations, sharing resources and opportunities, and exploring common and uncommon values, practices, and challenges. Early bird convening tickets, access to field grants, and connections with other members are just some of the benefits of being a member, with many more on their way. Join in today.

Welcome new Common Field members! 186 Carpenter (Providence, RI), Artin1444 (Madison, WI), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), BLIND SPOT (National), Clockshop (Los Angeles, CA), Coleman Center for the Arts (York, AL), Corner (Chicago, IL), Creative Exchange (St. Paul, MN), Creative Many (Detroit, MI), Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology (Bellaire, MI), Darger HQ (Omaha, NE), The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington, DE), Dimensions Variable (Miami, FL), Feast Arts Center (Tacoma, WA), Helmuth Projects (San Diego, CA), La Norda Specialo (Seattle, WA), The Laundromat Project (New York, NY), Machine Project (Los Angeles, CA), Make Space (online), MASS Gallery (Austin, TX), Nepohouse (Seattle, WA), N E W F R U I T (Portland, ME), Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland, OR), Self-Help Graphics (Los Angeles, CA), Springboard for the Arts (St. Paul, MN), Transformazium (Braddock, PA), Trunk Show (Chicago, IL), The University Galleries at Texas State University (San Marcos, TX), VIA (Pittsburgh, PA), Women's Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles, CA).


Here’s whats on the horizon in 2016.

From coast to coast, MEET-UPS will explore the context and conditions of local arts ecologies and get the word out about Common Field. Members can now apply for FIELD GRANTS to support projects that generate reflection, exchanges, connections, and thinking for local and issue-based networks. We also ask new, existing, and potential members to take the VERY SHORT FIELD SURVEY; let us know your needs, dreams and visions, and if/ how you might want to help.

We're seeking Drupal-friendly design + development teams to work on Common Field's Website 2.0--please check out and circulate the WEBSITE RFQ. Web plans include refining our interface, and creating a robust members-landing experience that allows members to connect to other members and share practical resources. The members-only FACEBOOK FORUM is becoming a hub for field exchanges and ideations. Send us a request to join in.

Common Field and the field of artists’ organizations was a central feature of CAA's ART JOURNAL issue published Fall 2015 thanks to founding member Lane Reyla. 2016 Research Projects will include two how-to TOOLKITS, a series of FIELD PERSPECTIVES from visionaries adding national insight to convening themes, and a KNOWLEDGE BASE assembling practical templates, stories, and other resources from the field. Meanwhile, check out our working RESOURCES list and BIBLIOGRAPHY.

VIDEO DOCUMENTATION from the Minneapolis Convening #HIG2015 is online! Enjoy 12+ hrs of art organizing dialogues, published perspectives, and reflections. As our founding program, we’re focused on developing our convening in response to feedback from our members. We're also seeking members to co-host the Convening in 2017 and 2018 (see call below).

We’re working on a design package for LOCAL ADVOCACY that will help you leverage the national Common Field affiliation in your community. On the NATIONAL ADVOCACY front, we’re beginning to connect with national funders and organizations about alignments and intersections between our field's values and frameworks for support.

Common Field's financial infrastructure is now hosted by founding partner SPACE GALLERY in Portland Maine--thanks SPACE! A warm welcome to seasoned arts organizer and our new Operations + Communications Manager ANNIE SEE ON SHAW! Annie joins the Common Field TEAM, helping to grow our network day in and out. This year, our Council Governance Team is exploring ORGANIZATIONAL MODELS to advance consistency, sustainability, and legal status for Common Field.


Common FIeld is prospecting partners and locations for our annual convening in 2017 and 2018. Letters of Interest are due May 16, 2016. Apply here.


Common Field was mentioned in BLOUIN ART INFO as part of a reflection by Joel Wachs, President of the Warhol Foundation, on artist trusts and experimental practice. We're also keeping an archive of links to WRITINGS and reflections on Common Field by our members.


Common Field members are posting listings for events, jobs, calls, and services. Check them out!


Special thanks to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Hemera Foundation for their generous support of Common Field. Thanks to the Common Field national Council and our Founding Members for their ongoing support, partnership and advocacy.

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