Field Grantees: 2018 + 2017 + 2016

Common Field Field Grants provide small grants of $500-1000 to support projects that generate exchange, connection, and thinking on arts organizing projects and practices. The purpose of Field Grants is to enable organizations doing reflective work to share this work with Common Field’s national network, and to facilitate broader learning and insight from local and issue-based organizing projects happening across the US with the expanded Field. Grantees contribute documentation of their activities for the Common Field website (written descriptions, photos, audio, videos are encouraged!). Projects must be led by a Common Field membership organization and include other member collaborators. All member organizations and Chapters are welcome and encouraged to apply. Funds are awarded as long as they are available.



Anti-Oppressive Human Resources for Small Arts Orgs
Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW)
and KCHUNG (Los Angeles, CA)
The field grant will support the publication of Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW) (Los Angeles, CA), collectively written HR policies, developed with assistance from AORTA and an employment lawyer. A conversation regarding this process and Christy Roberts Berkowitz's program HR for Art Workers, which took place at WCCW this past quarter, will be organized and recorded, with broadcast on KCHUNG (Los Angeles, CA).

Blockchain Valuation for Unprofessionals
Lalena (Brooklyn, NY)
and Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center (Buffalo, NY)
Blockchain Valuation for Unprofessionals, a distributed, blockchain-based membership and benefits program for DIY, experimental, and regional art spaces. BVU lets democratic organizations track members, volunteer labor, and benefits such as venue access, and concessions. Blockchain Valuation for Unprofessionals is a platform for understanding and valuing “unprofessional”, or unpaid, contributions to cultural projects and spaces, and a way to for contributors to share the value they create between the institutions and each other. We sometimes describe BVU as “GitHub for DIY spaces, built on the blockchain”.

Mapping the Philadelphia Arts Ecosystem
The Artblog and Ulises (Philadelphia, PA)

Mapping the Philadelphia Arts Ecosystem is a project spearheaded by The Artblog in partnerships with Ulises (Philadelphia, PA) to develop the first ever interactive map of arts spaces in the city of Philadelphia. Housed online at, this map will increase visibility for the city's many artist-run galleries, collectives, house museums, artist studios, pop-up and temporary exhibition spaces, arts-focused community centers, workspace/storefront hybrids and public art sites. Not only will the map be updated over time to reflect the emergence of new spaces, but as Philadelphia’s arts landscape continues to evolve both organically and under pressure from the accelerating real estate market, the map will serve as a living archive of spaces-past.

The Milwaukee Women’s Art Library (MWAL) Intergenerational Exchange
Ashley Janke with the Charles Allis Art Museum (Milwaukee, WI)
​The Milwaukee Women's Art Library (MWAL) Intergenerational Exchange documents the actions, work and narratives of women and non-binary people in the Milwaukee arts community that have been lost in the ebb and flow of the constantly shifting cultural landscape. The project will facilitate discussions around tactics of remembrance, acting as a conduit between women and non-binary artists who were active in Milwaukee between the 1970’s to the early 2000’s with those who hold art practices in the city today. The exchange will culminate with a day long workshop at the Charles Allis Art Museum discussing best practices in keeping women’s art histories in cities which operate outside of economic centers such as Milwaukee. The MWAL will release a small publication detailing the outcomes of the exchange and workshop including written notes, photos and links to audio recordings which will be shared with the Milwaukee and Common Field Community.

Survive & Thrive: an intergenerational survival guide for Black Philadelphians
The B(A)LM studio, The Philadelphia Student Union
and Hakim Pitts (Philadelphia, PA)
In collaboration with the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) and the Black Artists Liberation Movement (the B(A)LM), Dream Coach Hakim Pitts and Oral Historian Kymberlee Johnson-Norfleet will develop a process-based project that consists of a series of inter-generational, skill-building/sharing workshops, which will result in a digital archive of accessible oral histories and survival toolkit. The project aims to teach participants how to survive and thrive as Black Philadelphians based on the wisdoms of elders in the community.


Press Press (Baltimore, MD) and Wendy's Subway (Brooklyn, NY)
partner to engage in the first in a series of conversations and exchanges on alternative and independent libraries and archives producing creative forms of collaboration, engaging readerships, and providing new forms of access through book-centered programming and publishing. Over the course of a series of discussions between each organization, we will address key questions facing independent library organizations and projects, with the aim of producing a valuable resource for sharing models, collections, programs, and knowledge across organizations and building a network for ongoing conversations and support structures. Press Press and Wendy’s Subway will develop a print publication, which will also be freely available on a new online platform, as part of a growing archive of conversations in this ongoing series.

RURAL-ity: Chats & Outreach
The Old Furnace Artist Residency /OFAR (New Market, VA) and Guest House Cultural Capital Residency /GHCCR (Richland, WA) will join forces to host ongoing conversations (online, in print, and in situ) with arts organizations across the country to explore issues pertaining to the topic of "rurality" in the arts, best practices for sustainable placemaking and audience outreach, and site-responsive methods for archiving and enhancing cultural capital in these rural regions.

Epic Fail Dinner Party: Arts Organizers Gather to Demystify Failure
Slought, Lillian Dunn and Aislinn Pentecost-Farren (Philadelphia, PA)
Talking about failure is scary, but it’s necessary for us to grow. So we are going to have a Failure Dinner Party!

Too often, our discourse around our failures as artists or civic practice organizers is constrained by fear of how we’ll be perceived by funders, potential employers and one another. To overcome this, we propose to pilot, test and refine a new social form, the Failure Dinner Party, that makes talking about failure fun. Using the playful framework of a dinner party — complete with party hats, favors, games, and thoughtful prompts for conversation — we hope to raise awareness of the importance of talking about failures, learn and share useful ways to do so, build tolerance for these discussions, and percolate this knowledge back out into the field at large.

Performance, Audience Engagement, and Interpretation
On the Boards (Seattle, WA) and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art /PICA (Portland, OR)
This panel will discuss Performance, Audience Engagement, and Interpretation with panelists from diverse perspectives that will offer self-reflexive knowledge considering their own curatorial practice, art historical perspectives on the landscape of performance, performance art, and social practice, and critical feedback about the role of education and engagement within art institutions.



Artspace New Haven with Franklin Street Works and Real Art Ways (Stamford, Hartford, and New Haven, CT)
Common Field member organizations Artspace New Haven (New Haven), Franklin Street Works (Stamford), and Real Art Ways (Hartford) are partnering with The Chart (Portland, Maine) to host a seven-day Writer-in-Residence program that will shed light on the nuances of non-profit work and studio culture across the state of Connecticut. Each organization will host Jenna Crowder, Co-founder and Editor of The Chart, for two days of studio visits, community discussions, and museum and gallery tours. The residency will culminate in a strategic workshop on how small arts communities can work together to create venues for critical writing. These visits will result in three written pieces that will appear as a series in The Chart.

Mitsuko Brooks and Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (California)
Getting to know you/getting to know all about you is a 6 month long correspondence project between Common Field Organizer Network members Mitsuko Brooks and Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, as a way of getting to know each other, talking about what drew us to Common Field, and examine how our mail art exchanges might inspire us to create new work and connect with a new people who live in other cities. This project hopes to act as a model for continuing the charged conversations that happen when Common Field members come together at the convenings and bring them out into our lives and work beyond.


Bas Fisher Invitational (Miami, FL)
Artist Run space Bas Fisher Invitational presents Architecture Now: Building towards a nomadic future. This panel discussion brings together members of Miami’s architecture and cultural affairs community to discuss integrative ways to grow the city amidst the rising tide of development and displacement. Together, we will think through alternate funding structures, community needs, and holistic approaches to design build."

Big Red & Shiny & GRIN (Boston, MA)
The Rib is an art magazine decentralizing criticism and coverage of contemporary art. Launching in fall of 2017, The Rib is a response to the nomadic nature of contemporary art and will publish commentary and criticism that connects artists, spaces, and curators throughout the United States. The Rib is a collaboration between GRIN and Big Red & Shiny.

Central Features (Albuquerque, NM)
Common Field members Central Features Contemporary Art (Nancy Zastudil, Owner/Director) and DiverseWorks (Rachel Cook, Curator) will initiate a Visiting Curator Series in Albuquerque, NM. Cook’s visit is the first effort toward developing an ongoing series of curators' visits to Albuquerque to meet with local artists for the purpose of increasing their exhibition opportunities, fostering mutually beneficial professional relationships, and drawing attention to artists working in the Southwest.

Chicago Artist Writers & Culture Math (Chicago, IL)
Chicago Artist Writers (CAW) and Culture/Math are partnering together to produce interviews and written features on artist-book practice in Chicago ahead of the Chicago Artist Book Fair. as a web publication that hosts the thoughts and reflections of local artists to create more awareness of artist-run and under-represented artist practices. Culture/Math is a Chicago-based visual art service organization that creates tools for culture makers to sustain their life and practice, most notably with their open source events listing page “The Visualist."


ACRE (Chicago, IL)
ACRE's recent On The Table program gathered stakeholders in our community to share a meal and discuss the challenges and opportunities we face as a small, progressive arts nonprofit. Specifically, we focused this conversations with the intention to receive feedback and strategies for the development of diversity and sensitivity training that may be shared and used by our colleagues and other Common Field members.

DIRT (DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) Area)
DIRT is an independent platform and resource for accessible arts advocacy and critical arts discourse within the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DVM) area. Comprised of a non-hierarchical collective of art writers, art historians, artists, and curators, DIRT hopes to be an answer to the problematic lack of coverage, visibility, criticality, and authenticity within our immediate art community. DIRT seeks to publish, disrupt, and survey the cultural landscape through essays, public intervention, exhibition reviews, poems, interviews, and other non-traditional formats.

RESIDENCY UNLIMITED created "RIVET", a freely accessible online guide on how to successfully apply for opportunities that support creative work. They guide will contain key tips, sound bites, and crucial feedback to make the entire ordeal less daunting, sourced from our free monthly "Applying For Things" workshops. They invited dozens of experts in the field -- the people who make decisions, and people who've gotten things in the past -- to explain exactly how they did it, in the double aim of demystifying the entire process and help everyone get into the habit of applying for things more regularly.



Trans.lation Vickery Meadow (Dallas, TX) + Women’s Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles, CA)
Women’s Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles, CA, will host Carol Zou from Trans.lation Vickery Meadow in Dallas, TX for a residency in Winter 2016. Zou’s residency will focus on sharing lessons learned from the affordable housing struggle in Dallas with Los Angeles-based groups working on affordable housing. The goal is to create a visual and theoretical analysis of regional pressures in affordable housing that connect the work of artists and 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.


Aggregate Space Gallery + Great Wall of Oakland (Oakland, CA)
Aggregate Space Gallery and Great Wall of Oakland will host Oakland Congress of Experience-Based Art in March 2017! The convening will bring Arts organizations together in the East Bay to discuss opportunities and collectively work together to identify solutions to the rapid changes that are impacting the art community.

Chicken Tractor (Iowa City, IA) + Darger HQ (Omaha, NE) + Plum Blossom Initiative (Milwaukee, WI)
Bridge Work helps emerging artists develop exhibition experience and connects them to their larger, regional context. Local shows later combine with neighboring participants into a regional event. The Field Grant helps us support our artists’ participation and funds creation of sharable resources so you can recreate Bridge Work in your neck of the woods.


Maiden LA (Los Angeles, CA)
​For the month of August, Maiden LA, a playful anagram and homophone of ‘Made in LA,’ has produced a printed map and a website promoting a network of exhibitions, events and happenings in both traditional and unconventional spaces throughout Greater Los Angeles.

Artists of Color Bloc + A Common Project (New York, NY)
Artists of Color Bloc Research Project will survey the work (labor), living (housing), and art making (studios) situation for artists of color in New York.


Transformer + Elsewhere (Washington DC)
Southern Constellations, a day-long convergence of organizers in the South brought together artists and organizers to discuss their work, access to resources, and modes of experimentation in cities like Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlottesville and DC.