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Announcement
April 16, 2020

Houston Convening moves online

Common Field

Common Field 2019 Convening Philadelphia. Photo: Constance Mensh. Design: Margaret Anderson, Piping Hot Press.

Reimagining an annual gathering for the virtual sphere.

Common Field—a national network of independent, experimental and contemporary visual arts organizations and organizers – is proud to announce a reimagined and free online Convening in response to the COVD-19 outbreak. Originally scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas in late April, the Common Field Convening is an itinerant annual gathering where more than 500 individuals share resources, ideas and methods for artist-led, artist-run and artist-centered spaces, projects and practices.

At this unprecedented moment, there remains an urgent need to stay connected, build knowledge from the field and generate broadly-shared tools accessible to all. In reimagining the Convening, Common Field reaffirms its commitment to building platforms that engage with shared histories, create new connections, combat the physical isolation of our current reality and strategize evolved forms of collectivity and caretaking.

A full program lineup, complete with registration information for each session, is available at CommonField.org. Registration for this year’s online Convening is open and free, and Common Field is committed to ensuring that its programs are accessible to and inclusive of all. All times listed are Central Daylight Time (CDT) to honor the original Convening site. As a non-profit organization, Common Field encourages and relies on your tax-deductible donations to directly support its efforts.

2020 Convening programs explore progressive strategies for racial, economic and environmental justice in the arts, as well as stronger and more accessible infrastructures for community building and creative practice. Participants are invited to strategize around the terms of our collective cultural future while building capacity and expanding the parameters of what’s possible.

On Thursday, April 23 at 5pm CDT, all registered attendees are invited to participate in a shared all-together experience: Notas al Calce/Footnotes to the City. During this live-streamed, multimedia event, Houston-based artists and arts organizers will highlight overlapping cultural narratives from across the city’s 640 square miles. Additional Partner-organized programs showcase Houston’s vibrant and diverse artist communities, including: The Loop, a PDF publication commissioned for the 2020 Convening; Beyond the Binaries Virtual Brunch, a B.Y.O. brunch centering Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) representation in the arts; and Building Language Justice for Artists and Arts Organizations, a workshop for organizers interested in strengthening their work with multilingual communities.

The 2020 Convening is organized by Common Field with an extensive network of Houston-based Partners to shape its program, intended sites, commissions and goals as well as to connect local contexts and conditions with the interests of the greater network. Common Field is profoundly grateful to these partners, the Houston community and the hundreds of participating arts organizers nationwide for their ongoing collaboration and dedication to the Convening in its reimagined form. Houston Partners include arts organizations Art League Houston, Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks, Galveston Arts Center, Lawndale Art Center, Mystic Lyon, Project Row Houses, and Rothko Chapel; and arts organizers Emilý Æyer, Jessi Bowman/FLATS, Matt Manalo/Filipinx Artists of Houston, Moe Penders, Reyes Ramirez, Henry G. Sanchez and Megan Sparks/Resistance Healing Clinic.

About Common Field
Common Field is a national network of independent, experimental and contemporary visual arts organizations and organizers. Common Field connects, supports and advocates for the artist-centred field through collective action, shared information, and mutual support. Launched in 2015, its network has grown to 750+ members across the US.

Thanks
Generous lead support for the 2020 Convening is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional significant support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The project is also funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and Stardust Arts.

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