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Learnings for the Future

As a national network, Common Field served as a catalyst for work happening on the ground by increasing access and sharing of resources across regions. As we come to the end of our time as an organization, we are reflecting not only on the life of Common Field, but also on the future that lies ahead for our work and communities. When Common Field decided to close, we wanted to commit to a process that would leave the field with tools to shape the possibilities ahead. And with that in mind, we are so pleased to share our final two sunset initiatives with you!

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Common Work: Learnings for the Future from Common Field

Launching December 2022

We are excited to share our final organizational project, Common Work: Learnings for the Future from Common Field, a podcast and writing series exploring the history of our field, Common Field’s organizational journey and the work that is shaping the future today.

This four-part series pairs podcast episodes, produced in partnership with Jack Straw Cultural Center, with commissioned essays around four themes: Foundations, Common Field in Practice, Community Building is Culture, and Sustainability for the Future. Contributors include artists and leaders across the sector including Roberto Bedoya, Vashti DuBois, Mary Bordeaux, Lorie Mertes, and Anaïs Duplan as well as former and current Common Field staff and board members. Alongside this thematic series, the project will also offer a selection of related resources and a timeline of Common Field’s life and work.

In December, we’ll be launching the writings, resources, and timeline with Episodes 1 and 2 of the podcast on CommonField.org. In early 2023, episodes 3 and 4 of the series will be released on our site, which will remain online through April 2023. All podcast episodes and additional materials will also be released on JackStraw.org, and will remain online after our site closes in May 2023.

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Common Field Archive x Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA)

Common Field’s complete organizational archive (material and digital) will become part of Los Angeles Contemporary Archive’s (LACA) permanent collection. With this gift, LACA will ensure our organizational archives are preserved and, more importantly, available to the field for research and exploration beginning in January 2023. From annual budgets and contracts to Convening ephemera and historical organizing materials preceding Common Field, this collection will provide a deep and wide ranging wealth of materials related to organizational work including operations, programming, and our sunsetting process. You can read more about the Common Field Archive at LACA on our website.

We are also pleased to be participating in a public conversation at LACA (in person) on Thursday, December 8 from 7-9pm. Stay tuned for more details ahead about joining us in LA in December!

LACA is an all-volunteer run, non-profit organization and Common Field has committed to giving all of its remaining cash assets to LACA in 2022 to support their critical work of archiving artist portfolios and organizational work in the field. Special thanks to Hailey Loman at LACA and our Archives Transition Coordinator, Zach Whitworth, for their work in guiding our team through this process.

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We hope these projects offer the field support and inspiration in our work going forward, as a gift for the future and a symbol of our gratitude to you for our time together.

More soon,
The Common Field Team

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Graphic Design: Alexa Smithwrick

Image description: A black textured background, similar to the cover of an old journal from many years ago. On this background, multiple geometric shapes in white, red, dark blue, teal, and gold give the image a futuristic, almost scientific feel. White sans serif text reads Common Work: Learnings for the Future from Common Field in all capital letters. Handwritten text indicates that this includes a writing series and podcasts, in white and red text with teal decorative arrows. In the lower left hand corner, a Common Field logo in white.