Let's "Put the Equity Back into Sweat Equity"—Be a part of building a new arts economy at CultureCoin.org

 

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Dear HowlRound Readers, Conversation Curators, Mappers, and Livestreamers:

Be a part of building a new arts economy that will support the creative lives of artists in a dignified and equitable way and that will unleash opportunities and resources like never before. 

With your incredible support and participation, you've voted HowlRound and the CULTURE COIN proposal into the Finals of the ArtsFwd Business Unusual National Challenge! From now until July 25, we're conducting a crowdsourcing research phase in which we are asking you to respond to two questions that will help all of us further develop the CULTURE COIN idea.

Visit CultureCoin.org to answer the following questions—post any other ideas or comments that you have, and “up-vote” ideas you like:
 
  • What are resources, assets, or expertise that you HAVE that currently go unused, are under-utilized, and could benefit your fellow artists, organizations, audiences? Answer from your various perspectives as an organization, an artist, and/or an arts-goer.
  • As an artist or as an organization, what are resources, assets, expertise, or support that you NEED? How could those resources help you make a stronger impact and support your creative and cultural work?
When considering these questions, think of resources in the very broadest sense: anything that helps satisfy artistic, cultural, human needs and wants and that enables more impactful cultural production.
 
Once you've commented, please let us know you shared your ideas. Post on HowlRound's Facebook page, and on Twitter mention @ArtsFwd and @HowlRound.
 
Summary of our challenge:
Because the not-for-profit arts sector has institutionalized “sweat equity” and there are large disparities in how resources are distributed, and because dependence on ever-dwindling philanthropic funding is unsustainable, we will endeavor to overhaul how resources are defined, identified, developed, and leveraged in order to increase our sector’s ability to make work and support the creative lives of artists in a dignified and equitable way. We will do this through stewarding CULTURE COIN, a peer-to-peer digital currency backed by a peer-to-peer sharing economy that matches artists’ needs to the community’s available and latent abundant resources.
 
Read more about the ideas behind CULTURE COIN.
 

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I have to say I have really been turned off by the execution of this effort. I think the aim is great, but the process has elements that make my teeth itch because they feel so alienating.

There is so much "grant speak" in the explanations. I read this stuff and I want to know what it will mean to me as an artist if you want me to vote on it. I don't care to puzzle out what an "adaptive challenge." Is it really necessary to ask "What are the foundational assumptions that have reliably predicted success in the past that we are now questioning?" instead of "What longstanding assumptions are we questioning?"

It is great that you " will do this through stewarding CULTURE COIN, a peer-to-peer digital currency backed by a peer-to-peer sharing economy that matches artists’ needs to the community’s available and latent abundant resources." but how do you see it working for an individual? What do you envision being transacted? Is it going to help me buy milk?

So much of this just feels like throwing up walls rather than trying to gain the buy-in of those the system looks to help.

The only time I felt like something constructive was happening was the "We ask the crowd" section here-http://artsfwd.org/how...

It isn't just HowlRound's part in this. It is that I like HR's idea best, but feel like I have had to work so freaking hard to understand it. I might like other people's ideas better if it didn't feel like such a slog to read through them.

Thank you Joe for that feedback. It's very important what you're saying. Yes, communicating this project is a challenge and is something that we're hoping we'll get better at doing with the help of the self-selecting community of people who choose to work on this with us. We intentionally do not have all the answers of how this project will work given the desire we have to collectively create it.

Will CULTURE COIN help you buy milk? That's a great, grounded question. We don't know yet, but it would be incredible if the community figures out how to make that happen. Please consider contributing your responses to the two questions here: http://culturecoin.org With further conversation, we will definitely make progress toward figuring out the practical uses and value that it could add to your life.