Live Q&A: Solidarity Economy: Cooperatives for Creatives

Daniel Park of Obvious Agency
Tuesday, October 17, 2023 | 6-7pm ET
This is a free event.
Join Daniel Park, Artist and Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency, for a live Q&A to learn about Cooperatives For Creatives.

To get creative projects done, many artists and creative workers instinctively pool resources and labor to accomplish everything from community murals and mutual aid projects to magical works of visual and performing art, writing, and music. They share risk, profits, recognition, and opportunities. Though many do this work without giving it a name, others formalize their intuitive, values-driven, people-centered structures into cooperatives (co-ops), which are businesses like any other (minus oppressive hierarchies and capitalist drive which results in one person making all of the profit while paying workers as little as possible). In their course on CreativeStudy, worker-owned, performance-based cooperative Obvious Agency (Joseph Ahmed, Arianna Gass, Daniel Park, and Cat Ramirez) introduce us to their work and the trust, motivation, and structure required of a co-op.

During this Q&A, Daniel Park will tell us more about the founding and operation of Philadelphia-based Obvious Agency and answer questions from those involved in cooperative work or considering the formalization of their cooperative work. Daniel is especially interested in the intersection of cooperatives and the arts and he is considered a thought leader on local and national levels. Though none of his advice will be seen as legal or financial advice, he can speak to his experience in the sector and the business strategies of many cooperative creative businesses.

Daniel Park (he/him) is a queer, bi-racial, theatre and performance artist, movement facilitator, and organizer for racial and labor justice in the cultural sector. Through all of the above, his work brings people together to understand and experiment with their individual and mutual roles in bringing about the liberation of all people. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2014, Daniel has become a leader for radical thought in the local creative ecosystem and a trusted national source for guidance on the intersection between cooperatives and the arts. Daniel has self-produced multiple major works, co-founded the worker cooperative Obvious Agency, created commissions for institutions such as the Barnes Foundation and Moore College of Art and Design, and taught anti-oppressive creation methodology at the University of the Arts. He was a recipient of the 2022 Art Works Grant from the Philadelphia Foundation and Forman Arts Initiative. Daniel has provided his services as a facilitator and consultant nationally with organizations such as Creatives Rebuild New York, The PA Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, ArtPlace America, and many others. Daniel was also instrumental as an organizer and recruiter for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, a community group that brings together folks of pan-Asian descent involved in the performing arts.