2016 Winter News

As the year draws to a close, Common Field is thinking of you and thankful for you. Common Field is an amazing network of member participation and support, and we are finally unifying as a field. In one year, we have all together accomplished more than we ever imagined ​-- growing to 500+ members, hosting a Miami convening with radical content and momentum, supporting 7 field grant projects, and 18 meet-ups across the country.​ ​ ​And there is so much more to come.​

It has been incredibly inspiring ​to see so much mobilization and connection​ ​during​ a ​very complex year. From the election to the Oakland tragedy, the safety and stability of our communities has been further destabilized. Artists organizations and organizers across the country are responding with an incredible outpouring of solidarity and with a deepened commitment to creativity and accountability. We are learning and listening together as our Members, Council, and Staff strategize how to organize for the year ahead. Amidst all the challenges, please take good care of yourselves and each other, families and friends, artists and communities.

Sending so much love,
Courtney and Stephanie
Co-Directors, Common Field


The 2016 Common Field Convening in Miami featured an incredible array of conversations, interactions, debates, and experiences on arts organizing in Miami and beyond. ​We have updated our post on the Miami 2016 Convening to operate as an archive portal for convening content​​. Watch the video archive of the panels on Accelerated Capitalism, Gentrification, Criticality, and Transitions. Read the Field Perspectives essays published by Miami Rail and Temporary Art Review. Check out 34 videos portraits of Common Field members who spoke about their organizations and projects during the Convening. Review press and reflections from Miami Herald, Miami New Times, Contempt Orary, and Temporary Art Review.


The Common Field Resource Index is a working compilation of concept references, funding sources, and informational websites in support for the field of artist-centric organizations. Anyone can access the PDF from our website. We encourage members to contribute ideas, information, new categories and resources directly into this open source google document. Keep the document growing and we will continue to publish new versions with your contribution.


Congratulations to the Winter 2016 Field Grantees!

Women’s Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles, CA) + Trans.lation Vickery Meadow (Dallas, TX)
Women’s Center for Creative Work will host Carol Zou from Trans.lation Vickery Meadow for a residency in Winter 2016. Zou’s residency, Co-Struggle, will focus on sharing lessons learned from the affordable housing struggles in Dallas and in Los Angeles. The goal is to create a visual and theoretical analysis of regional pressures in affordable housing that connect the work of artists and housing advocates on a macro level, and activate cross-regional support systems.

The 2nd Floor Rear (Chicago, IL)
2nd Floor Rear is an annual DIY festival of art in experimental contexts, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects. Ongoing discussion across Chicago’s independent art space cohort, particularly Corner’s Art + Value conversation series, has revealed a need for artist-run spaces to engage with local communities that may feel alienated from contemporary art spaces and conversations. The 2nd Floor Reader is an experiment in audience engagement in four parts: content generation, educator-audience interaction, feedback, and evaluation. Commissioned tour guides, a mobile app, interactive surveys, and written and verbal feedback will offer new tools for engaging audiences.

See the full list of 2016 Field Grant awardees here.


Common Field is now 522 members strong. 297 organizations and 210 organizers have joined us across 40 states. 94 organizations have been operating for 5 years or less; 22 organizations have been in the field for more than 40 years! 20% of our members are in the Midwest, 17% in the South, 13% in the East Coast, 7% in the West Coast, 5% in the Southwest, 2% in the Pacific Northwest, and 37% are nomadic or did not identify their location. We have one member in Caribbean and another member in Puerto Rico.

Welcome new members! CA > San Francisco: Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, Creative Labor, Open Windows Cooperative; FL > Fort Lauderdale: Girls' Club Collection; Miami: Cuban Contemporary, Emerging Arts Leaders of Miami, Jane Hart Miami, Labomamo, No Pop, Spinello Projects, Swampspace, Third Horizon; IL > Chicago: 2nd Floor Rear, Experimental Sound Studio, TRQPITECA; LA > New Orleans: Deltaworks; MA > Boston: Proof Gallery, Raq City; MI > Hamtramck: Popps Packing; MD > Baltimore: Baltimore Youth Arts, Labbodies, Open Space, Station North; MN> Lovell: Hewnoaks; MO > Kansas City: Informality Blog; St. Louis: Intersect Arts Center, Midwest Artist Project Services; NC > Raleigh: BLOCK, VAE Raleigh; NY > Brooklyn: Artadia, Disclaimer Gallery, Open Source Gallery; OR > Portland: Container Corps, SignalFire; PA > Pittsburgh: BOOM Concepts; RI > Providence: Fri-ends, GRIN; TX > Dallas: Ash Studios; Galveston: Galveston Art Center; Houston: Art League Houston; San Antonio: Land Heritage Institute


Common Field welcomes five new arts organizers to our national Council, a group of advisors that support Common Field through wisdom, advocacy, advice, and participation on teams. Welcome to Deana Haggag, Executive Director, The Contemporary, Baltimore, MD; Sharon Maidenberg, Executive Director, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA; James McAnally, Founder + Co-Director, The Luminary and Executive Editor, Temporary Art Review, St. Louis, MO; Cameron Shaw, Executive Director and Founding Editor, Pelican Bomb, New Orleans, LA; and Aurora Tang, Program Manager, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles, CA. They join continuing council members Dana Bishop-Root, Transformazium; Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-bow School of Art; Matthew Fluharty, Art of the Rural; Anne Focke; Kemi Ilesanmi, The Laundromat Project; Nat May; and Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace. Read more about the Common Field Council and check out their bios here.


Common Field is continuing to evolve with more changes and new projects ahead in 2017. Co-founder Courtney Fink, who has served as Co-Director since September 2015, will step into a new role as Director as of January 2017, with the support of Annie See On Shaw, whose role will shift to Media and Membership Manager. Stephanie Sherman, who has been co-directing Common Field since Fall 2014, and helped to bring the organization to fruition as a founding member, is now completing her time as Co-Director. She will continue work as Project Lead on developing Common Field's website 2.0 with NYC design firm Project Projects, and serve as a member of the Common Field Council​.


Common Field was featured in the Grantmakers for the Arts Spotlight as a grantee of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Read the article here.


Special thanks to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Hemera Foundation for their incredible support of Common Field. Additional generous support for the 2016 Miami Convening was provided by the Knight Foundation and The Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. Thanks to the Common Field national Council, Founding Members, members and allies for their ongoing support, partnership and advocacy.