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Philly Field Conversations

  • Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine Street Philadelphia, PA, 19107 United States (map)

Philly Field Conversations:
Join Common Field for a summer series of conversations to explore ideas, opportunities, and challenges of arts organizing in Philadelphia.

Initiated by Common Field to engage with the core concerns of the local arts landscape through discussion and discovery, the series has been developed through partnership with local arts leaders: Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia Contemporary, Taller Puertorriqueño, and Ulises. Through these gatherings, Common Field aims to articulate and activate a local network of arts organizers that will inform both the themes and programs for the Common Field 2019 Convening in Philadelphia, and the goals for local arts organizing ahead.

Access Note: We will do our best to accommodate requests for language or ASL interpretation or captioning. If you have specific access questions or needs please email as soon as possible. 


Philly Field Conversation #1 with Ulises
Monday, June 11, 2018, 6:30 - 8:30PM
Facilitated by Ulises co-founders with an introduction by Common Field
Location: Ulises, 31 E Columbia Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Ulises co-founders invite discussion on a constellation of issues close to self organized spaces and arts initiatives: burnout, viability, and sustainability. Arts workers across the field, working at a range of scales, and perhaps with and for multiple organizations, are invited to take part in this round-table session, which touches on labor, institutions, and the values that drive self organization. This event is designed to be productive and goal-oriented, generating ideas and strategies that we can activate in our work as arts organizers.

Philly Field Conversation #2 with Taller Puertorriqueño
Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 6:30-8: 30 PM
Facilitated by Rafael Damast and José Ortiz Pagán with an introduction by Common Field
Location: Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19133

What does it mean for longstanding and established organizations to continue to advance their programming and impact as the communities they serve and artist practices change? Arts organizers Rafael Damast (Taller Puertorriqueño) and José Ortiz Pagán (Fleisher Art Memorial), whose respective organizations serve as cultural hubs to artists and local communities, invite discussion prompted by these questions: What ways can larger institutions be a resource to smaller organizations that do the essential work of providing initial support to artists’ experimentation? What is their role in connecting these processes and practices with broad audiences? How do we hold space for artists and enable creative expression to flourish outside of the mainstream?

Philly Field Conversation #3 with Philadelphia Contemporary
Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:30-8:30PM
A conversation with Rob Blackson (Temple Contemporary), Homer Jackson (Philly Jazz Project), and Trapeta Mayson (poet, Historic Germantown). Facilitated by Philadelphia Contemporary’s Nicole Pollard with an introduction by Common Field.
Off-Site Location: Uncle Bobbie’s, Peoples Education Center | 5445 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Philadelphia Contemporary undertakes pop-up programming across the city through a range of partnerships with other organizations, communities, and individuals, which informs the prompt for this discussion. How are partnerships forged? How do relationships with collaborators and communities engaged in the process unfold over time? How is social impact achieved through collaboration? Philadelphia Contemporary’s Nicole Pollard moderates this conversation with Rob Blackson (Temple Contemporary), Homer Jackson (Philly Jazz Project), and Trapeta Mayson (poet, Historic Germantown) to address challenges, scale, longevity, and the future of arts partnerships in Philadelphia.

Philly Field Conversation #4 with Asian Arts Initiative
Saturday, July 21, 2018, 1-3PM
Facilitated by Carol Zou and Daniel Park with an introduction by Common Field
Location: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Where is Philadelphia in the national conversation for racial and cultural equity? What are the challenges that artists and organizers of color in Philadelphia face? How can we come together, build intersectional coalitions, and advocate for a more equitable arts community? How can a national network like Common Field provide a platform and resources to amplify local work on cultural equity? Carol Zou (Asian Arts Initiative) and Daniel Park (theatre and performance artist) moderate this conversation. Established in 1993 to address tensions between Black and Asian American communities, Asian Arts Initiative invites artists and organizers of color to come together for a listening session to shape an equitable vision for the April 2019 Common Field Convening and beyond.

While this will be an event of shared thinking and wisdom, this is a POC centered space. Allies are welcome and asked to listen.