Alternatives to economic and social exploitation are growing strong across the globe, especially in places like Brazil, Quebec, Northern Italy, and the Basque region of Spain. They call it Solidarity Economics, a grassroots form of cooperative economics. It is working throughout the world, connecting thousands of local alternatives together to create large-scale, viable, and creative networks for both economic and social change.
The Solidarity Economy’s values-based, big tent organizing approach enables groups to build real economic relationships between producers, solidarity-committed investors, retailers, and consumers; and then link to other grassroots social movements in networks of mutual support and exchange.
We believe that it is not enough to be “against,” nor is it enough to create. We must build social movements that encompass and connect many forms of action:
The mighty Met estimates it could lose $100 million and has announced widespread layoffs; the Hammer Museum laid off 150 part-time workers; L.A. MoCA laid off its entire part-time staff; S.F. MoMA expects to lay off 135 on-call staff members; Mass. MoCA is laying off 120 employees. Meanwhile, many maintain restoration labs, care for vast collections, pay insurance premiums, electric bills, and thousands of other unseen costs. Other than the Getty, Kimble, the Met, and MoMA, most museums don’t have vast endowments that can allow them to get through [a pandemic] like this. (See "The Last Days of the Art World ... And Perhaps the First Days of a New One")
“The ideal arts space is simple: it’s one in which art and culture are not sequestered from the lived experience of artists and their communities.”
-Carolyn Lazard, 2019
New art worlds are dreamt into existence in every crisis.
the commons: ecological and intellectual
free and open-source software and technology
community land trusts
non-profit artisan collectives
democratic employee stock ownership programs
sliding scale pricing
community supported agriculture
community supported kitchens
consumer (usually food) cooperatives
housing cooperatives and collectives
non-profit buying clubs
credit unions and community development credit unions
cooperative loan funds
rotating savings and credit associations
mutual aid societies
community development banks