For this iteration of “Seeding Collaborations,” we expanded our ecosystem to the Netherlands where we spoke with Luke Cohlen and Marianna Takou from Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Casco). Casco is an arts organization located in Utrecht, Netherlands, where they are exploring and practicing where the arts and the commons meet. As defined by Casco, the commons is where “the natural and cultural resources [is] held in common by a community.” In this interview, Cohlen and Takou offer insights into Casco’s approach to working for the commons and systems change. As an art institution that presents artists’ works, they are also tackling the other side of an art practice, and how we can actually support artists, whether it’s financially or through other types of resource sharing.
In our new series of interviews “Seeding Collaborations” we discuss the rumblings of the art world and explore the possibilities blossoming from current movements. We interviewed Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts (Springboard), an artist-run organization based in Minnesota. They have offices in St. Paul and Fergus Falls, both of which are on Anishinaabe and Dakota land.
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Our new series of longer interviews “Seeding Collaborations” discusses some of the changes that the art world is undergoing and how we can move forward in a more just path. To kick it off, we interviewed Hope Mohr and Daniel Park from Guilded, a cooperative of freelance artists incubated by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC).
Fractured Atlas has undergone some big changes in the past few years, including entering into a period of interim leadership led by Theresa Hubbard, who is also our new Chief Operating Officer.
When we interviewed fiscally sponsored project PeepMe about the cooperative platform they are creating for and by sex workers, they mentioned that they had in their operating guidelines an “Exit to Community.” We had never heard of the concept before but after they explained it to us, we’ve been mulling the idea over in our minds. Inspired by PeepMe, we’re sharing an introduction to Exit to Community, or E2C, in the hopes that it can help others think more broadly about how businesses, collaborative projects, and other ventures can be organized more equitably.
The life of a freelancer is a precarious one. There are periods of feast and famine, confusing taxes, and the chasing down of vendors to pay on time (or at all). There is the constant hunt for gigs, which could cancel at a moment’s notice. This is to say nothing about how freelancers in the U.S. pay for healthcare or save for retirement.
For an entire category of workers (but certainly not the whole workforce) the expectation of a 40-hour, 9-5 Monday through Friday workweek seems like an inevitability; an expectation so deeply ingrained that it’s hard to remember it wasn’t always this way. And it’s even harder to remember that it might not have to be this way in the future.
Since I came to Fractured Atlas almost two years ago, I’ve been sharing information about how artists and creatives can run successful fundraisers. I’ve written articles about picking perks and shooting videos for crowdfunding campaigns, the importance of donation tiers, and running raffles.
Fractured Atlas believes in being honest about what a job is, but not fatalistic. Your job is not your family, it’s a way you exchange your labor for money. But it doesn’t have to be soul-crushing or toxic. We are interested in creating humane workplaces, whether that means ensuring fair pay as part of antiracism at work or exploring exactly what we mean when we talk about toxic workplaces.