In the process of sunsetting (closing the organization), Common Field developed this final project with production partner Jack Straw Cultural Center. Common Work: Learnings for the Future from Common Field is 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 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, as well as former and current Common Field staff and board members. Alongside this thematic series, the project will also offer an organizational timeline and a selection of resources related to Common Field’s life and work.

Listen to the Podcast

User Guide
PART I: Foundations

With Roberto Bedoya, Sheetal Prajapati, James McAnally and An Duplan

This episode includes a reflection on the history of the field of artist-led organizations and organizers and a dialogue about the work of creating new spaces and places for our work.

Essay 1: Governance Through Sunsetting (pdf)
by Sarah Williams and Jackie Clay with audio transcription of Episode


PART II: Common Field in Practice

With Chris Tyler, Kristel Baldoz, Kevin Ritter, Mars Avila, Hannah Grossman and Amanda Choo Quan

This conversation invites current and former staff to be in conversation with one another around shared experiences and takeaways from their time at Common Field, exploring the ways the work unfolded through the lens of those who carried our programs and operations forward.

Essay 2: Who Is Common Field’s Network For? (pdf)
by Ikram Lakhdhar with audio transcription of Episode 2


PART III: Community Building Is Culture

With Lorie Mertes, Vashti Dubois and Matthew Fluharty

This episode welcomes network members to discuss the criticality of community building for cultural sustainability and the ways their organizations and projects are moving this work forward.

Essay 3: “wičhóyanke (a community of people)” (pdf)
by Mary Bordeaux and Clementine Bordeaux with audio transcription of Episode 3


PART IV: Sustainability for the Future

With Ayesha Williams, Diya Vij and Larry Ossei-Mensah

In this final episode, Network members discuss how they are thinking about, participating in, or developing new structures for sustainable creative work moving toward more sustainable futures for our field of practice.

Essay 4: “A Culture to Hold the Leaders We Need” (pdf)
by Shaun Leonardo and Allison Freedman Weisber with audio transcription of Episode 4


Common Work: Learnings for the Future was produced with oversight by Chris Tyler, graphic design by Alexa Smithwrick, copyediting by Nicolay Duque-Robayo, and administrative support from Raquel Du Toit. Daniel Guenther and Jennie Cecil Moore at Jack Straw Cultural Center recorded, edited, and produced this podcast series with music by Josh Nucci. Common Work: Learnings for the Future from Common Field was developed and curated by Sheetal Prajapati in collaboration with the Common Field team.

Common Field would like to thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of this work.

Project Participants

Mars Avila
Kristel Baldoz
Roberto Bedoya
Clementine Bordeaux
Mary V. Bordeaux
Amanda Choo Quan
Jackie Clay
Vashti DuBois
An Duplan
Matthew Fluharty
Hannah Grossman
Ikram Lakhdhar
Shaun Leonardo
James McAnally
Lorie Mertes
Larry Ossei-Mensah
Sheetal Prajapati
Kevin Ritter
Chris Tyler
Diya Vij
Ayesha Williams
Allison Freedman Weisberg
Sarah Williams