Los Angeles Convening

Los Angeles Convening

Common Field

Rosie Gordon Wallace and Germane Barnes, “Gentrification and Sustaining Neighborhoods” during Common Field 2016 Convening Miami.

October 3, 2017
Los Angeles Convening
November 2–5, 2017, 10am
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
244 South San Pedro Street
90012 Los Angeles CA
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Bringing 350+ leading arts organizers to Los Angeles

Common Field, the only network in the country connecting alternative, contemporary visual arts organizations, will hold its annual Convening in Los Angeles from November 2 to 5, 2017. Tickets are available at convening.commonfield.org.

This vibrant, vital gathering will take place at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles. It will host 38+ sessions presented by 100+ leading national art organizers, publications, and others, all critically discussing the state of the field.

Organized by Common Field with lead partners Human Resources Los Angeles, the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), the Women’s Center for Creative Work (WWCW), and Materials & Applications, the program will present sessions largely atypical of conference format.

Attendees will explore themes of cultural equity, institutional listening, radical openness, getting real with real estate, gender bias, organizing in our political era, resisting displacement, the histories and futures of our field, and more. Prior to the Convening, Common Field will host critical training with the California Conference for Equality and Justice—facilitating community building, cross-identity dialogue, and resisting systematic oppressions during the program and beyond it.

This year, with the launch of Common Field’s Open Call, half its Convening programming was organized by its members—emphasizing its desire to provide a platform for the varied voices of the field. Topics include “Rural Communities: How to Engage with Them,” by Pike School of Art—Mississippi, to “Cultural Road Map for Equity: Reports on Strategies from Dallas and New York,” by artists of color bloc.

Conversations organized by Lead Common Field partners include “Institutional Listening,” with Sarah Williams of WCCW, featuring Malik Gaines, Harry Gamboa Jr., and Sarah Schulman; and “Histories and Futures of Shifting Spaces and Places,” with Aurora Tang of CLUI, featuring Paolo Davanzo, David Evans Frantz, Kian Goh, Ellie Lee, and Ashley Sparks.  

Attendees will also participate in tours, adventures, evening parties, and meals, including special Satellite Dinners hosted by twenty local arts spaces across Los Angeles.

Launched in 2015, 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. During its short existence, its network has grown to 700+ across 43 states. In LA alone, there are 50+ Common Field members.

“It’s amazing how many of us work in the same field, but aren’t aware of each other’s work,” remarked Courtney Fink, co-founder and Director of Common Field, “and what happens when we’re all together in one space.” Ultimately, Common Field hopes that these organizations will continue to stimulate innovation in their respective communities—urgently articulating the value of the artist-centred field so as to be seen beyond it.

The Convening aims to be collaborative and inclusive—through its Open Call; by providing 25 organizers full scholarships to attend; and by producing “Field Perspectives,” essays which expand on Convening themes, with Arts.Black, Art Practical, The Chart, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, contemptorary, DIRT, Pelican Bomb, Temporary Art Review, and X-TRA.  

Issues of national funding, ethical acquisition of safe space, and simple survival have all become concerns of arts organizations across the country, and especially among those in LA. “It’s a critically relevant moment to gather around common and uncommon causes, ideas, and the future,” Fink emphasizes.

Affiliate partners include Clockshop, contemptorary, Eastside International, Fathomers, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Machine Project, Side Street Projects, The Velaslavasay Panorama, and X-TRA.

Tickets are $125 for members and 150 USD for the public. Day passes are 50 USD. Pre-Convening tickets are 25–100 USD by sliding scale. Buy tickets at convening.commonfield.org. Join Common Field at commonfield.org/join.

Lead support for the Convening is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Metabolic Studio. Additional support is provided by The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, the Wilhelm Family Foundation, and Common Field’s Membership Network.

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Common Field
October 3, 2017

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