Many of you have expressed to us that gallery/maker spaces are being priced out of the neighborhood. And the barriers to entry of starting your own art space are high and rising. But what if there were 4 artists starting a gallery or makerspace together?? With democratic ownership of the venture, shared decision making power, and pooled resources… a lot more is possible. Gather around some of your friends and learn more about the cooperative model. Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance is launching a program called 20 Book Clubs ➝ 20 Cooperative Businesses.
Over 15 months, 20 groups of people will form community-owned and worker-owned cooperative businesses in the Philadelphia area. Before starting businesses, these groups will meet twice a month for six months in study circles, a method rooted in African American and Philadelphia cooperative history. Each group will choose resources like books, articles, oral history, videos, field trips, comics, and podcasts to learn how to start a business and why to do so together. Through study, reflection, and discussion, each group will identify an unmet need in their community and create a shared vision of a new cooperative business to meet that need. After six months, each group can access training, business advice, and financing to help them open their cooperative business. Visit PACA’s website for more information.
July 2016: Call for applications opens
September 2016: book clubs begin their study of co-ops
March 2017: book clubs conclude their study and begin planning their cooperative businesses
Fall 2017: new cooperative businesses begin to open their doors
This project is a winner of the Knight Foundation’s Knight Cities Challenge. The Knight Cities Challenge named 37 winners out of a pool of over 4,500 applicants.