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Hand-in-Glove 2015 // Meetup for Artists, Organizers & Allies

  • The Soap Factory 514 2nd St SE Minneapolis, MN, 55414 United States (map)

Hello Friends & Colleagues,

 Hand-in-Glove 2013 in New Orleans, LA.

Hand-in-Glove 2013 in New Orleans, LA.

We're excited to officially announce that Hand-in-Glove - an itinerant national convergence for people engaged in the imaginative possibilities and pragmatic realities of artist organizing - will be held September 17th-20th, 2015 at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. 

As we begin planning for this convergence - which will draw over 300 independent arts organizers to the Twin Cities for focused panels, discussions, workshops, tours of local projects, and other artist-led activities - we want to begin a conversation with local artists, organizers, and allies who might like to be involved.

We will be hosting a meetup at the Soap Factory on December 3rd from 6-8PM. We'll share initial plans for Hand-in-Glove, as well as an update about the new Common Field network. We'll also open a discussion of ways this new national network and conference can support you and your work, as well as opportunities to get involved.

Dinner will be provided, so we ask that you RSVP.

Looking forward,

Ben Heywood, The Soap Factory
Shanai Matteson & Colin Kloecker, Works Progress Studio

WHAT: A meetup for people interested in learning more about Hand-in-Glove, Common Field and opportunities to get involved in planning this national convergence of artists and artist organizers.
WHEN: Wednesday, December 3rd from 6-8PM
WHERE: The Soap Factory, 514 2nd Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
DETAILS: Part information session, part open discussion. We'll share early plans for the Hand-in-Glove conference, and will begin discussions about how this national gathering can be a platform for local artists and organizers, as well as how we can create equitable collaborations within this project.**


Hand-in-Glove is a national convergence for those engaged in the imaginative possibilities and pragmatic realities of artist organizing, including independent artist-led exhibitions, re-granting initiatives, publications, residencies, public programs, pedagogical experiments, community engagement platforms, and a variety of other projects that develop and advance grassroots production and reception models for art and culture.

Works Progress Studio and The Soap Factory, along with a group of local organizers, will be working with leadership from the newly launched national network Common Field to plan and present this conference in the Twin Cities in September of 2015.

We expect to draw over 300 artists, arts organizers, and advocates of independent artist spaces and projects for a critical conversation about the state of this diverse and decentralized field. Attendees will share and connect on a range of relevant topics, including economic models for artist spaces and projects, advocacy then and now, equity in artist organizing projects, the instrumentalization of socially-engaged creative practices, the importance of self-care, regional writing and publications, and much more. 

The Theme of Hand-in-Glove 2015 is "A Common Field"

This year’s convergence will gather artist organizers and allies from across the country for a series of focused discussions on the state of our diverse field - its past, present, and future - as well as the challenges and opportunities that are shaping our individual and collective work in local and regional contexts, across the United States. 

The conference will also serve as the first large gathering of Common Field, a new network of artists and organizers amplifying the visibility and viability of arts organizing projects across the United States and beyond. 

Common Field connects independent arts organizations and organizers, artists and curators, and others with a grassroots ethos, advancing the field of artist projects and spaces by providing a platform for research, exchange, support, advocacy, and mentorship that explores and expands arts organizing resources and practices. 

We are an umbrella for profiling and connecting pre-existing initiatives, and an access-point for creators and participants entering and engaging the field at large. Hand-in-Glove 2015 is our official launch and plenary session for this exciting new initiative, and we hope you will take part.

Who attends Hand-in-Glove

Hand-in-Glove welcomes organizers from artist-centric spaces and projects that are self-organized, independent, and noncommercial. It also welcomes organizations that, while larger and more institutional, retain the artist-run values and priorities that were a part of their founding.

About Hand-in-Glove

Hand-in-Glove facilitates national conversations on creative activity happening outside of traditional art institutions, and spreads the word about innovative organizing models and under-the-radar opportunities that could be useful to artists and organizers. A vibrant and vital art world would be unimaginable without these spaces and projects. 

Despite the fact that these programs offer most — if not all — of the ground floor support for publicly-oriented emerging artist productions, they operate with less funding resources than necessary, and often run on sweat equity, volunteer labor, and personal resources. In short, these spaces lack the proper support system and infrastructure to fully thrive and actualize their programs on a fully resourced scale. Hand-in-Glove initiated as a convergence to bring together independent arts organizers from across the country to discuss, debate, and develop the practical and philosophical issues prevalent in their work.

This is the third iteration of Hand-in-Glove. Hand-in-Glove 2011 (Chicago) was organized by Threewalls, and Hand-in-Glove 2013 (New Orleans) was organized by Press Street. These gatherings drew hundreds of attendees respectively, bringing together national arts leaders invested in the field of artist organizing, and representatives from leading artist residency programs, non-profit institutions, artist-run spaces, and philanthropic foundations across the United States. For information on past conferences, please see the Hand-in-Glove living archive.

About Common Field

Common Field is a network of artists and organizers amplifying the visibility and viability of arts organizing projects across the United States and beyond. Common Field connects independent arts organizations and organizers, artists and curators, and others with a grassroots ethos to advance the field of artist projects and spaces.

About Hand-in-Glove 2015 Co-Organizers

This year The Soap Factory celebrates its 25th year as a laboratory for artistic experimentation and innovation, dedicated to supporting artists and engaging audiences through the production and presentation of contemporary art in a unique and historic environment. Based in the historic National Purity Soap Factory in downtown Minneapolis, The Soap Factory is a 501(c )(3) non-profit.

Works Progress Studio is an artist-led public art and design studio. Together with our multidisciplinary collaborators we create public art and design projects to inspire, engage, and connect — catalyzing relationships across creative and cultural boundaries to enable new possibilities for artistic expression, civic imagination, and participation in public life.

Common Field and Hand-in-Glove 2015 are supported in part by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation. 

**As organizers of this artist-centric conference, it is our intention from the beginning to create equitable collaborations with other artists and organizers. We will not ask you to volunteer your time and ideas for free, but rather, want to use this gathering to introduce our early framework for this convergence, and ask how we can use this opportunity of a national gathering to further support your individual and collective work. We will financially support the work of artists and organizers collaborating on Hand-in-Glove 2015.