Constellations of Advocacy Presented by Common Practice Los Angeles

Unionizing Part-time Faculty at Otis College of Art and Design: A Discussion with Andrea Bowers, Joshua Callaghan, Sara Daleiden, Jenaba Kamara, Rebecca Kimmel, and Jessica Minckley (PDF, 2015)

LA><ART, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038 Sunday, October 4, 2015, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Please RSVP to

In collaboration with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Otis Union Movement is currently engaged in negotiations that address issues of job security, equitable living wages, and health-care in their efforts to unionize Part-time faculty at the Otis College of Art and Design. Members of the bargaining group, including current faculty at Otis, will discuss the process and goals of their specific labor negotiations. In discussing the particular relations and conditions at Otis, the panel will also reflect on how their efforts may have wider implications for the current socio-economic struggles facing MFA programs and academic institutions in the US. Following the bargaining groups’ presentation, significant time will be provided for attending publics to join the discussion with their own questions and perspectives on the negotiations at Otis, as well as the current crisis of precarity and alienation within art schools and academia broadly.

Seminar, conference, and publication with the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College

The first Common Practice New York initiative includes a series of three invitational roundtables on contemporary institutional practice organized in collaboration with students and faculty from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in fall 2013; a public conference developed in response to these seminars in spring 2014; and a forthcoming publication that will include transcripts from these events alongside additional contextual and artistic contributions.

About the Center for Curatorial Studies
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day.

In addition to the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, the Center houses the Marieluise Hessel Collection, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the public. The Center's two-year M.A. program in curatorial studies is specifically designed to deepen students' understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating contemporary art. Exhibitions are presented year-round in the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, providing students with the opportunity to work with world-renowned artists and curators. The exhibition program and the Hessel Collection also serve as the basis for a wide range of public programs and activities exploring art and its role in contemporary society.

Common Practice, London, Research Papers

Value, Measure, Sustainability: Ideas Towards the Future of the Small-Scale Visual Arts Sector (PDF, 2012) Written by Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt, the report was generated by a day-long symposium and open meeting with different representatives of small-scale arts organizations in the UK. The report puts forward new possibilities for assessing benefits and attracting funding in a changing arts landscape. Comparing evaluations of merit in the art world with those in different sectors—notably that of development and psychology—it considers different ways of measuring the artistic contributions of small organizations beyond footfall and econometric indices, the current preferred methods of public funding bodies, and attempts to outline how cultural value has been conceived. In more practical terms it also discusses how organizations might deal with the decreasing levels of public subsidy and worsening economic conditions of the UK, and looks at how they might develop funding from private sources and new partnership schemes.

Size Matters: Notes towards a Better Understanding of the Value, Operation and Potential of Small Visual Arts organizations (PDF, 2011) Written by Sarah Thelwall, this paper seeks to articulate the value of the small-scale visual arts sector within the wider arts ecology. The paper explores the significant potential small-scale organizations have in the present cultural landscape and economy, also detailing the operational and investment challenges they face in realizing this. Finally, it advocates a reconsideration of present assessment and investment practices. Size Matters was commissioned by Common Practice, London, with support from Arts Council England.