Alternative Economies Working Group

Alternatives Fair 2013 - Eyebeam

Alternatives Fair 2013 – Eyebeam NYC


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.


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Get emails regarding class dates, meeting points, readings, guest presentations, and other special events throughout the year.

2015 Fall/Winter Meetings monthly @ Sunview Luncheonette (SEE BELOW)



Thursday, November 12th
7:30–9:00 p.m.

Radical Alternatives Think Tank: Meet-Up #2
Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint Brooklyn | G Train to Nassau Ave – Google Map

This fall and winter, Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Working Group will be convening at Sunview Luncheonette to discuss the cultural-political landscape in New York City. We invite artists, activists, cultural workers, community members, and anyone who is interested in joining our “think tank” and brainstorm on how we can work together to find solutions to our current situation.

We invite you to join us in this first session for casual group discussion and activities over shared food and drink. As a starting point we’ll discuss the current conditions that affect us as cultural workers and community members, and think about what a radical and inclusive cultural plan for New York City might look like. Let’s combine our knowledge, experience, and relationships to formulate creative solutions and strengthen existing efforts to secure our right to the city.

All are welcome. Please email Alternative Economies at if you plan to attend or have any questions.

Facebook Event Page: Radical Alternatives Think Tank

Future Sessions:
Meet-Up #3: Thursday, December 10th, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Photo: Pedal Power – OWS Sustainability at Zuccotti Park. November 2, 2011. CC BY 3.0 Shankbone.




Alternative School of Art? CAA 2015 Workshop

Alternative School of Art?
Workshop @ CAA 2015/NY Hilton 1335 6th Ave.
2nd Floor Media Lounge
Wednesday, February 11, 9am–1pm

This event was hosted in conjunction with CAA 2015. In this workshop, we explored possible alternatives to the economic and structural realities of art education

Full details:





•  Alternative to What? Summer Sessions Various locations and online @ThePublicSchool
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

•”What Do We Do Now?” is a booklet and pdf resource guide for access to affordable housing, healthcare, banking, childcare, etc.  It is a living document that will grow over time.

• Members/Volunteer Emailing list: we have a email list for volunteers and members. Let us know that you’d like to be added by emailing us at the address listed 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).

1. Co-Housing
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
34. Biomimicry
35. Gaviotas- Oasis of Imagination
36. Alonovo: Market-Led Corporate/Economic Reform

One thought on “Alternative Economies Working Group

  1. Hi, We are having an occupy town square on Staten Island and we would love if your labor group could be there. I am also part of Labor Outreach and at last night’s meeting it was mentioned that we were going to work on a Labor Alliance meeting on June 12th at 6pm.

    I hope Jackie has reached out to you and I hope to see you at the meeting and would really love to see you attend our event on June 16th at 12noon. Please let us know if there is anything you will need at the event, i.e., tables.


    Occupy SI and Labor Outreach Committee

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