In the spring of 2009, NYC-based artist groups Silvershed, HKJB and The Metric System initiated a conversation among fellow artist-organizers about the surge of independent art collectives and artist-run spaces in New York and other cities around the world. At a time when the art world is in transition, it is particularly interesting and relevant to explore what is essential to art-making, curating, and the engagement with participant and audience. These conversations grew over time to include over 50 independent artist groups and dozens of supporters. In October 2009, the founding groups co-curated ABCyz, an exhibition of NYC-based critical contemporary art collectives, curatorial groups and art publishers formed over the past five years. ABCyz evolved into Collective Show to expand the conversation into an open-source project that can be produced in any city.