The Alternative Economies Working Group of OWS Arts and Labor explores new methods of sustaining the livelihood of artists, art-workers, and other low-income populations. We view the concept of labor through the lenses of time, choice, and value, and we research the ways that ideas like the commons, solidarity economies, precarious worker centers, and participatory budgeting can nurture more sustainable art worlds. Believing that vibrant creative communities come from the bottom up, we encourage relationships based on mutual aid rather than competition, and we advocate for cultural institutions rooted in a framework of social, economic, and environmental justice.
Alternative to What? Summer Sessions begin Sunday, July 6th, and run bi-monthly until the end of August. These sessions will double as our monthly group meetings.
Session 1: Alternative Spaces
Sunday, July 6th, 5:00-7:00 pm
Chinatown/SoHo (location TBA)
Alternative To What? Alternative Art Economies
Summer Sessions @ThePublicSchool
Session to be Scheduled / Collaborate online at:
This summer we’re using ThePublicSchool to build out our summer discussion series. Through collaborative sessions we will identify possible alternatives to traditional models. We’ll also examine the history and significance of having these alternatives as we move into the future. Session may include collective and collaborative readings, walks, field trips, picnics, interviews, films and other ideas the group might have. It’s summer after all!
More info on project page:
Get emails regarding class dates, meeting points, readings, guest presentations, and other special notes throughout the run of the summer.
• Alternative to What? Alternative Art Economies Summer Sessions @ThePublicSchool
• Partnering for booklet drops for 2014 “What Do We Do Now?” Resource guide v2 at various locations.
• Concept phase: Mobile Unit Project
• Continue basic workshop on 36 Alternative Economies (see below)
• Discussing/workshop specific Alternative Economies Projects.
• Detroit, A City in Transformation Film & Discussion w/Paper Tiger TV and Brecht Forum January 22, 7:30 pm. 2014
• What Do We Do Now? Arts & Labor Alternatives Fair Oct 18-19, 2013
• ART + COMMONS + BRUNCH August 18th, 2013 Jackson Heights artCommons workshop @ Immigrant Movement International 108-59 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY Subway: 7 to 111th St (facebook invite / affinity project)
• artCommons in Jackson Heights July 27th Sign-Up & Info Table @Espresso77 10am-1pm 35-57 77th st. (facebook invite)
• What Do We Do Now? Booklet Drop, Friday June 14th, 2013 at The Exchange Café @ MoMa
• Another Art World Is Possible - Alternative Economies Workshop, Saturday May 11th, 2013 at NURTUREart . A&L Invite / A&L Report Back
• What Do We Do Now? booklet launch w/Making Worlds Forum 2, March 29-30, 2013
• Alternative Economies with Haben und Brauchen in Berlin, June 12, 2012
• Occupy The Land! w/NYC Community Gardens Coalition June 1-3, 2012
• Alternative Economies Teach-In: Occupy, Resist, Produce, Feb 19, 2012
• Alternative Economies Teach-In: Seeing, Naming, Connecting, Strengthening, and Creating, March 4, 2012
• We have completed “What Do We Do Now?” a pdf resource list for access to affordable housing, healthcare, banking, childcare, etc. It is a living document that will grow over time.
• Members/Volunteer Emailing list. Currently we have a email list for volunteers and members. Come to one of our meetings and let us know that you’d like to be added. Or email us (email above)
• “Stepping Stones to A Solidarity Economy” by US Solidarity Economy Network. Thirty-two Alternative Economic models compiled for a group exercise (reference list below).
STEPPING STONES Reference List
2. Living Wage Laws
3. Progressive Taxation
4. Employment Targeted Monetary Policy
5. Tobin Tax: Int. Curr. Trade Tax
6. Conservation Easements (Agreements)
7. Community Supported Agriculture
8. Cooperative Movement
9. Slum Dwellers International
10. MST (Landless Workers Movements)
11. Economically Targeted Investment Programs
12. Regional Tax-base Sharing
13. “Father Quotas”
14. Community Land Trusts
15. Brownfields Development or Land Recycling
16. Common Property Management Regime
17. Fair Trade
18. Organic Agriculture
19. Factory Take-Overs
20. Community Gardens
21. Community Schools
22. Alternative Economic Indices
23. Community Concession in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve
24. The Social Economy
25. The New Bottom Line
26. CEPAD – loans to women in Managua Nicaragua
27.Creative Commons / Open Source
28. Living Machines
29. Zapatista Autonomous Communities
30. Participatory Budgeting
31. Basic Income Grants / Guaranteed Min. Income
32. Worker Center/ Worker Justice Centers
33. Local Currency
35. Gaviotas- Oasis of Imagination
36. Alonovo: Market-Led Corporate/Economic Reform