Perambulating the Bounds

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Collective Foundation

Every day, another tidbit from the most recent California trip. This time the Collective Foundation, featured at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (along with an R. Crumb retro and a fascinating William Pope L. project, the Black Factory). They describe themselves as

“a research and development organization offering services to artists and existing arts organizations. The Collective Foundation focuses on fostering mutually beneficial exchange and collective action by designing practical structures and utilizing new web-based technologies. Ultimately the central concern of the Collective Foundation is to serve as a catalytic and experimental beginning, proposing 'bottom-up' forms of organization and investigating new resources. This means inventing new forms of funding, and new ways of working together. Like the Art Workers' Coalition, who proposed pragmatic solutions to problems faced by artists, the Collective Foundation seeks alternative operational solutions, while reducing the bureaucratic formalities of overhead and administration.”

They’ve set up a multi-pronged operation supporting artists and arts organizations in the Bay area. To this end it has an audio stream people can upload contributions to (I’ve got it on now – it started out not so interesting but the last few entries have been better), makes grants, does some publishing. It supports things like Josh Greene’s Service Works, a micro-grant program for artists that he funds from one night a month of the tips he earns as a waiter. Mike Calway-Fagan from Nashville got one of these. Check out the pull-down menu on the main page, select “Service Works” and hit the $253 project. It looks like you can go to it directly. To me the most interesting component is their on-line journal, the Shotgun Review. They’ve published over 100 reviews of shows in the Bay area in less than 2 years. That’s hell of a lot, even for an open source approach.

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