Co-Employment

Shortly after publishing the concept paper on Collective Insourcing that Guy mentioned in his initial post, he and I were sitting at a café on Atlantic Avenue slugging coffee and wrestling with the deeper details of how this thing was actually going to work. (We still are, by the way: slugging coffee and wrestling with details, but progress has been made — at least on the details, if not the coffee habit.) We were trying to figure out the key that would really shift the model from a nonprofit service organization requiring consistent contributed income to sustain itself into something else — something that could (eventually) have a chance at self-sufficiency, something that could be fully member-driven and serve to keep resources growing within the arts field, rather than siphoning out of it.

After many coffee refills and many long pauses, we hit on something: labor sharing.

What if we could create a structure that would not only share hard resources and provide services, but also share the employees providing such services? Read More…

As Sarah mentioned in her recent post, a cornerstone of our research and inspiration for ArtsPool is linked to the sharing economy. At its heart, the sharing economy and its dramatic rise has exposed a shift from, “…a world where we’re organized around ownership to one organized around access to assets…”[1]

In the world of the arts, ownership, or more broadly institutionalization, has often translated into increased infrastructure, which the field then struggles to sustain. Part of the challenge is that traditional notions of ownership and institutionalization place a premium on having your own space, your own staff, etc. But, that infrastructure quickly loses its value if we’re spending a disproportionate amount of our time trying to maintain and pay for that infrastructure and spending less and less time, money, and other resources delivering on our core purpose.

We’re not alone. The entire economy has shifted and many are turning to sharing as a potential solution. Read More…