MUTUAL ART COOPERATIVE
community art//active research//direct action//self-organising//collective funding//fair trade
Membership is open to individuals, organisations. Our Facebook page and group will be the immediate platform for ideas and discussions. Project proposals from members are encouraged. Members can vote on all proposals with the aim of collectively agreeing to fund one of the project ideas during the first phase.
First steps: Economic Structures
1) A number of artists in different parts of the world will agree to form a Co-operative and Community Benefit Society International Co-operative Alliance Co-operative Principles and subscribe to the Alliance’s global interests. These individuals will serve as the initial/ core members of a collective that plans to expand via reference, invitation, voting and acceptance of new members into the collective. The cooperative will be registered in the UK and hold a bank account there.
2) Members will take part in time-limited online voting for all aspects of the cooperative’s planning and decision-making processes, with majority decisions always respected.
3) The cooperative will crowdfund a proportion of each project in which donors will be offered rewards not shares. A crowdfunding platform will be an integral mechanism provided to all members.
4) The cooperative will agree a business plan outlining its plans to work internationally with different economic models including crowdfunding, private funding and public funding. Destinations for funds will be collectively decided upon based on organizational needs to enable the development of ethical art projects and the enablement of fair trade via an assisted selling programme. It is likely that the first projects will take place in the countries represented by the founding collective of artists.
5) The cooperative will determine and offer Community Benefit Shares to selected people from the founding collective’s networks, openly to anyone interested via a social media campaign, or a mixture of both. The shares can be safely traded via Crowdfunding including, for example, Crowdfunder. Each member can buy as many shares as they wish but the cooperative works on the basis of one member, one vote – not one share, one vote.
6) The cooperative will also offer investment shares (as an initial public offering) with return on investment based upon an ethical investment choice.
7) The cooperative will use proportions of the funds raised for individual projects and to help lever other funding from philanthropic foundations, ethical businesses, state and local grants, etc.
Phase 2: Fair Trade,Expansion and Full Platform Realization
1) The cooperative will develop and expand links with local ethical traders to enable their products to be sold, fair trade, internationally by the collective, with 60% of profits going to the local traders and 40% being retained by the cooperative. Through this system, the Art and Production arms of this community become complimentary, as ethical products find new vendors and spaces for sale, artists' relationships and networks expand, and the two ways of working feed into each other, stimulating new growth across our community.
2) The cooperative will seek to grow its membership, projects and fair trade sales year-on-year.
3) Developed in full, the cooperative platform website will link to artists’ own websites as well as giving information about our projects and offering a sales page for fair trade products, including artworks produced by our members. This will help promote the cooperative’s work and ethos as well as providing new exposure and potential sources of trade to members.
4) The collective aims to hold yearly events to continue growth of the practice, reinvigorate the collective and bring new collaborators/ networks into the collective.
Open Cooperativism - P2P Network - Platform Cooperativism - The Commons