Introducing Open Field
Open Field is what we make together.
ABOUT OPEN FIELD
From June to September, Open Field transforms the Walker Art Center’s big, green yard into a cultural commons. The space is designed in the spirit of the “gift economy,” to explore what happens when people get together to share and exchange skills and interests, to create something new, or delve into the unknown.
PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS / HANG OUT
The Walker’s summer gathering place brings together relaxation and imagination, recreation and exploration. Socialize with friends both old and new on the plaza or while rummaging through a tool shed full of games and props for making your own fun. Indulge your curiosity and foster your creativity by sharing your talents, skills, and passions with others.
BE A CREATOR / PARTICIPATE
In 2011, more than 100 individuals and groups contributed to this summer long festival of community-sourced activities. Offerings included everything from poetry readings, art-making, music, and yoga on the lawn to skill-share lessons with a twist. Throughout the season, Open Field invited artists-in-residence to create and host activities involving hundreds of people of all ages.Open Field is a chance to make your mark, so add to the mix this year with a program of your own.
Ways to Participate in Open Field:
Hangout: Meet friends at the Garden Grill by D’Amico, surf on our lawn—the green has free Wi-Fi; borrow fun stuff from our Tool Shed; or sprawl out on a picnic blanket with friends or a book.
Organize your own activity to share with others and add it to the Open Field calendar. For more information about how to organize and schedule your activity this summer, visit the Propose Your Activity page.
What is a “cultural commons”?
A commons is a shared space and collection of resources activated, managed, and cared for by the public for the benefit of all. A cultural commons is a similar environment that encourages the sharing and remixing of ideas, art forms, and culture. Utopian in theory, and posing challenges in practice, a commons is the centerpoint of building and stewarding resources for the common good.
“Open Field really opened my eyes to the myriad roles a museum can play in the community, both as a cultural institution and as an everyday gathering space.” —Open Field participant
“Something happens when you learn something new that makes you want to share it with other people.” —June Cohen, Executive Producer, TED Media
“Open Field reminded me how removed I’ve become from play….Humor can get us through the workday, but for play, we need other people.” —Deborah Fries (Terrain.org)
“In gift exchange is it not when a part of the self is inhibited and restrained, but when a part of the self is given away, that community appears.” —Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Read what Sarah Schultz (Director of Education & Curator of Public Practice, Walker Art Center) and others gleaned from the first year of Open Field on Quodlibetica.