The Brooklyn Commune is a grassroots initiative originally organized by Culturebot.org and The Invisible Dog Art Center  to educate, activate and unify performing artists of all disciplines to work together towards a more equitable, just and sustainable arts ecology in America.

If economics – specifically the economics of the cultural ecosystem – is a creative design problem to be collectively solved, then artists should come together to solve it.

While originally sited in Brooklyn, the project is inclusive of all NYC and aspires to develop a vision with national relevance.

The Brooklyn Commune started with The Brooklyn Commune Project, which was structured as an iterative, collaborative public research & visioning process investigating the economics of cultural production in the performing arts.

The project’s goal was to create an artist-driven vision of a healthy arts ecosystem in America and to bring artists, institutions, administrators and funders together for mutually respectful, open, non-hierarchical discourse around difficult topics such as resource allocation, capital, value, labor, aesthetics, diversity, equity, inclusion and quality of life.

The events and research were documented and disseminated iteratively here and culminated with the publication of our report “The View From Here” which was launched in January 2014 coincident with The Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference in NYC.

The Brooklyn Commune is predicated on the following ideas:

  • Artists and creative people in all sectors – given space, time, information and incentive – are able to imagine a world that operates differently than this one. We will apply our creativity to envisioning meaningful, actionable pathways towards solutions.
  • Artists, institutions, administrators and funders have the same desired outcome for the arts ecology: a healthy, vibrant, dynamic, diverse, inclusive, resilient and sustainable arts and culture sector America.
  • We are not in an environment of resource scarcity but rather a resource rich environment that has developed deeply dysfunctional systems for resource allocation & management. We will avoid unrealistic fantasies and unworkable utopianism, instead identifying systemic dysfunctions and obstructions as we work towards real solutions.
  • Artists, institutions, administrators and funders must come together in a thoughtful, respectful, collaborative, rigorous way to create a path to achieve their shared desired outcome.
  • Members of The Brooklyn Commune will model the behaviors we are asking others to adopt: openness, transparency, inclusivity, responsibility, respect & rigor. And we hold ourselves accountable for our behavior as we work to establish a culture of mutual trust, respect and cooperation.
  • The Brooklyn Commune Project consisted of four large public convenings, smaller weekly convenings and a Global Congress  held at The Invisible Dog Friday-Sunday, November 22-24, 2013.

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