A Series of Workshops on Social Practice
Solidarity Economics is about grassroots economic justice. We use the term solidarity economics because economía solidaria is familiar to many people in the global south and across Canada, especially in Quebec (économie solidaire). We want to demonstrate solidarity with this work in the United States. Solidarity Economics is both a process of working together to meet our needs, and a framework for viewing and evaluating alternative economic practices. In solidarity economies, people advance values of cooperation, democracy, justice, and environmental sustainability while exchanging goods, services, and knowledge.
Christopher Robbins works on the uneasy cusp of public art and
He built his own hut out of mud and sticks and lived in it while serving
Caroline Woolard is a co-founder of Our Goods a community of artists, designers, and cultural producers who want to barter skills, spaces, and objects. OurGoods supports the production of new work through barter, because resource sharing is the paradigm of the 21st century. OurGoods is a scaleable, local initiative and part of the growing landscape of alternative models of exchange in art, design, and culture. OurGoods is specifically dedicated to the barter of creative skills, spaces, and objects. It is a community of cultural producers matching “needs” to offered “haves”. OurGoods helps independent projects get done. She is also a co-founder of Trade School. What is Trade School and how did it start? It all started because three of the five co-founders of OurGoods (Louise Ma, Rich Watts, Caroline Woolard) were given an opportunity to work with GrandOpening, and we had a wild brainstorm session about many possible barter storefronts. We decided that “barter for instruction” had a lot of potential. So, from February 25th to March 1st, 2010, we ran Trade School at GrandOpening in the Lower East Side. Over the course of 35 days, more than 800 people participated in 76 single session classes. Classes ran for 1, 2, or 3 hours and ranged from scrabble strategy to composting, from grant writing to ghost hunting. In exchange for instruction, teachers received everything from running shoes to mixed CDs, from letters to a stranger to cheddar cheese.
Amy Whitaker teaches and writes about the intersection of art, business, and everyday life. A member of Art Business Faculty at the Sotheby’s Institute, she has also taught courses in economics and entrepreneurship at RISD, California College of the Arts, Williams College, and Trade School, and lectured widely on art museums, creativity, and business principles. She has worked in museums including the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and Tate, as well as for the artist Jenny Holzer and the investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P. Amy is the author of Museum Legs, an essay collection about the creative life of museums and the public life of art. Museum Legs was selected by the Authors@Google program, recommended by the Association of Art Museum Directors, and assigned as the first year summer reading book at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. Currently a writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, she is at work on a new book.