The Future Of Funding
Nia K. Evans, Nati Linares, Brendan Martin, Cierra Michele Peters, and Caroline Woolard
May 18, 2021 | 4:00 - 5:30pm EDT
Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard discussed their research processes, findings, and recommendations for grantmakers and funders from Solidarity Not Charity, a 121-page report commissioned by Grantmakers in the Arts. They also introduce attendees to two important models for democratizing philanthropy and building the solidarity economy: Boston Ujima Project and The Working World.
Artists, arts workers, grant seekers, grantmakers, and anyone else interested in transitioning to more equitable and just economic models in the arts were encouraged to attend.
About the Speakers
Nia K. Evans is director of the Boston Ujima Project, which organizes Greater Boston-area neighbors, workers, business owners, and investors to create a community-controlled economy. Evans has an educational background in labor relations, education leadership, and policy. Her advocacy work focuses on eliminating barriers between analysts and people with lived experiences while also increasing acknowledgement of the value of diverse types of expertise in policy. She is a co-creator of Frames Debate Project, a multimedia policy debate program that explores the intersection between drug policy, mental health services, and incarceration in Massachusetts. Evans has a B.A. in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and an M.A. in education leadership, with a course of study in leadership, policy and politics from Teachers College at Columbia University. She also studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where she focused on international labor relations.
Natalia (Nati) Linares is a Communications and Network Organizer at the New Economy Coalition - a network of over 200 organizations in the US and Canada envisioning a just transition to a better and stronger social, cultural, and economic system. In 2010, she founded conrazón - a creator development agency investing in new paradigms for a hyper-connected, heart-centered, and rebalanced generation. Her resume includes working as an artist manager for Panamanian, Oakland-based bicultural rap pioneers Los Rakas and Brazil-via-Brooklyn Carioca-funk polyglot diva Zuzuka Poderosa; handling Artist Relations for NYC's SummerStage; leading publicity efforts for emergent festivals such as Santiago de Cuba's inaugural MANANA; and strategic consulting for #DIASPORADICAL artists. Linares is also the founder of ISLA, an arts collective based in her hometown of Staten Island, and a member of Sol Collective in Sacramento, CA. These experiences led her to explore the role art and artist collectives could play in building not only a new economy, but a new culture. She recently co-authored a report with the artist Caroline Woolard for Grantmakers in the Arts about how artists and culture bearers are transforming the economy called “Solidarity Not Charity: Arts & Culture Grantmaking in the Solidarity Economy.”
Brendan Martin is founder and director of The Working World, a cooperative financial institution and business incubator based in Argentina, Nicaragua, and the United States. Martin originally moved to Argentina in 2004 to work with a group of Argentines looking to support the “recovered factory” phenomenon, and out of this was born The Working World and its methods of non-extractive finance and just-in-time “evergreen” credit. Despite dire predictions of investing in the recovered factory movement, The Working World achieved a 98% return rate across 715 loans, and all with repayments from profit sharing and without guarantees. In 2009, Martin helped open a second branch in Nicaragua and another in the United States in 2012. The same grassroots cooperative efforts have proven effective and provocative in the context of the US. Martin is a 2009 Ashoka fellow, a two-time Ashoka Globalizer, a nominated Prime Mover, and a frequent speaker on the solidarity and cooperative economy.
Cierra Michele Peters is an artist and the Communications Director of The Boston Ujima Project. Ujima, named for the Swahili word for collective work and responsibility, uses a participatory budgeting process in combination with traditional underwriting to put economic development decisions in the hands of community members. As an artist, her practice includes video, installation, and durational performance. As an artist, curator, and organizer, her projects examine visual, spatial, and sensory representations of Blackness. Her conceptual work uses wry humor to present commentary on subjectivity and ontology against an urban backdrop. Her recent projects include Print Ain’t Dead, a pop-up bookstore and publishing platform and Demo Radio, an underground sound archive.
Caroline Woolard is an American artist who, in making her art, becomes an economic critic, social justice facilitator, media maker, and sculptor. Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, Woolard has catalyzed barter communities, minted local currencies, founded an arts-policy think tank, and created sculptural interventions in office spaces. Woolard has inspired a generation of artists who wish to create self-organized, collaborative, online platforms alongside sculptural objects and installations. Her work has been commissioned by and exhibited in major national and international museums including MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and Creative Time. Woolard’s work has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS. She was the 2018–20 inaugural Walentas Fellow at Moore College of Art and Design and the inaugural 2019–20 Artist in Residence for INDEX at the Rose Museum, and a 2020-2021 Fellow at the Center for Cultural Innovation.
Author, Faculty Member at New York University
Holding an MFA and an MBA, Amy studies the friction between art and business and proposes new structures to support economic sustainability for artists. Her third book, Economics of Visual Arts, was published in the fall of 2021 with Cambridge University Press. Amy is also author of two other books, Museum Legs and Art Thinking. Serving on the arts administration faculty at NYU, Amy researches what would happen if artists retained equity in their work. Her work on fractional equity has appeared in Management Science (with Kraussl) in the "Fast Track" intended for "high-impact research that is of broad interest.”
Amy's work has been featured in The Guardian, Harpers, The Atlantic, the Financial Times, Artforum, and The Art Newspaper. Her early work with the artists' cooperative project Trade School was covered in the New York Times and The New Yorker. She speaks widely including at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Meaning Conference (Brighton, UK), and The Conference (Malmö, Sweden). She has taught at Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and California College of the Arts, and is a past recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Image © Shieva Rezvani
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Attorney, Deputy Director of Legal Services at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC)
Luke Blackadar is an attorney and the Deputy Director of Legal Services at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC). An artist himself, he helps artists, creative start-ups, and arts nonprofits manage legal issues involving copyright, trademark, contracts, entity formation, and corporate governance. Luke also enjoys talking to groups of law students and artists and has recently spoken on art legal issues to the Americans for the Arts, the City of Boston, and students at Brown University, RISD, MassArt, and Lesley University. In addition to managing the A&BC’s legal interns, he teaches at the Boston University Metropolitan College and the Roger Williams University School of Law, and mentors students through the Northeastern University and Northeast Regional Black Law Student Associations. Luke is a graduate of Clark University and Northeastern University School of Law. In his spare time, he enjoys drawing, running, reading, and playing video games.
Marci Blackman + Diana Y Greiner
Founders of Treehouse Taxes
Treehouse Taxes, run by Diana Y Greiner and Marci Blackman in Brooklyn, New York, caters specifically to self-employed individuals and small businesses. They built the Treehouse so you will have a safe, fun, and friendly place to get your taxes done.
Marci has been providing a combination of tax preparation, bookkeeping, and accounting services to a wide range of clientele, including individuals, partnerships, and small corporations for the past 20 years. As a longtime freelancer and award-winning novelist, Marci understands what it means to “hustle” for your dreams, particularly as it pertains to taxes. As a partner in Treehouse Taxes LLC, Marci believes transferring knowledge and helping artists and freelancers become savvy taxpayers is a form of social justice.
Diana Y Greiner knows about cobbling together an income, tracking expenses, and pursuing a dream. She has spent over 20 years juggling the life of a performing artist while developing and maintaining her left brain as the managing director of an arts organization, a waitress, an acrobatics instructor, an office manager, a massage therapist, a bookkeeper, and finally a full-fledged tax nerd by earning her EA. Through it all she maintains that connection is the point of everything.
Pamela Capalad + Dyalekt
Hosts of Brunch & Budget
Pamela Capalad is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Accredited Financial Counselor™ who has worked in the field of financial services for over a decade. She founded Brunch & Budget to provide people who felt ashamed or embarrassed about money with a safe and friendly place to speak openly and make financial progress. Her mission is to make financial planning as affordable as possible for the communities who need it most. Her work has been featured in publications including the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and Vice Magazine. She was named in New York Magazine’s Best of New York 2019 and has brunched with over 400 people and counting.
Dyalekt is an MC, playwright, educator, and podcaster. His work focuses on defining personal identities and finding one’s voice, authentic communication, and supporting one’s community. His first album and one-man show, Square Peg Syndrome, is also a 6-week school curriculum that toured through St. Croix’s 17 schools. His new album and one-man show, The Museum of Dead Words, explores communication, race, and empathy in the internet age. Dyalekt was named to the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and his performance venues include the Bowery Ballroom, SXSW, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mozilla’s Internet Festival in London, the United Nations, Santa Barbara’s Lucidity Festival, and the Divadlo Archa in Prague, CZ.
Pam and Dyalekt host the Brunch & Budget podcast, where they discuss how personal finance and racial economic inclusion intersect. They also co-founded the Race & Wealth Podcast Network with Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chief of Race, Wealth and Community at NCRC. Through what they’ve learned in their work, Dyalekt and Pam have started a group financial planning program called See Change, specifically designed for People of Color and make financial planning more inclusive.
Staff Attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of NY
Laura Levin-Dando, Staff Attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of NY, advises clients on a range of issues, including disputes, contracts, and intellectual property matters. Laura also teaches and facilitates VLA’s educational programs. Laura received her J.D. from George Washington University Law School and graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University, where she studied history and music. A lifelong musical theatre nerd, Laura feels very fortunate to be able to help artists from all disciplines through her work at VLA.
Actor, President and Founder of Abundance Bound
Miata Edoga is an actor and the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, the premiere financial education company for creative entrepreneurs. She created The Artist’s Prosperity System™, which has provided thousands of artists with a step-by-step process to significantly improve their financial situations, giving them more time and freedom to focus on their creative careers. Miata and other Abundance Bound facilitators, all working artists themselves, lead workshops and seminars on financial empowerment for organizations including: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Television Academy, WGA, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, The Actors Fund, The Motion Picture & Television Fund and The Center for Cultural Innovation.
Director of Education Outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance
Yanely Espinal is the Director of Education Outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance and the Creator of the MissBeHelpful YouTube channel, where she posts weekly videos about money. Born and raised by Dominican, immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York, Yanely is a proud product of NYC public schools. She majored in Art at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School before going on to receive her bachelor's degree in History of Art/Architecture and Visual Art at Brown University. She later earned her master's degree in teaching and after struggling with credit card debt, became passionate about personal finance education. When she isn't working, she sews, paints, listens to podcasts, and babysits her 8 nieces and nephews.
Director of Artist Services at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC)
As Director of Artist Services at LMCC, Ana Fiore oversees re-grant programs in support of community-based arts programming in Manhattan; artist residencies providing work space for creative development; the SU-CASA program, connecting artists with senior centers; and other artist service initiatives within the organization. The core of these programs is to increase the range of resources available to artists. Prior to LMCC, Ana aided fiscally sponsored artists at the New York Foundation for the Arts with a focus on demystifying the fundraising process. She has also served the Center for Performance Research, The Joyce, and Danspace Project.
Co-founder and Partner of Westfuller
Ian Fuller is a co-founder and partner of Westfuller, a financial and wealth management firm that provides advice, strategy, and investment management for values-aligned global individuals, families, and institutions.
A specialist in evidence-driven, global wealth advisory and planning, strategic investment management, and philanthropic giving, he works closely with people and institutions to empower wealth with purpose. Ian is also the board chair of Common Justice, a restorative and criminal justice reform organization, and serves as the treasurer/finance chair for many social justice organizations, including: civil rights organization Color of Change, economic justice impact fund The Workers Lab, the private foundation Proteus Action League, and Amalgamated bank’s Charitable Foundation.
He holds a B.S. in Economics from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and an M.S. in International Affairs and Global Finance from New York University. He also holds a Chartered Financial Consultant designation for the Series 7, 66, 24 securities licenses. He lives on the Lower East Side of New York City with his family.
Math Educator, Personal Finance Advocate
Joel Kwabi was born in Ghana and moved to the United States for college. After receiving a bachelor's degree in mathematics and working in finance, he obtained a masters degree in mathematics education in pursuit of his passion for teaching. For over a decade, he has taught math in the classrooms of Brooklyn. He is passionate about personal finance and helped lead a Financial Peace University course in his church community after an eye-opening experience paying off student debt and saving to buy a home. He currently lives on Long Island with his wife and two kids.
Partner in the Advanced Media & Technology Practice at Loeb & Loeb
Jessica Lee is a Partner in the Advanced Media & Technology practice at Loeb & Loeb, where she counsels clients on the privacy and intellectual property issues that arise when launching, marketing, and monetizing digital products and content. Named one of New York’s Notable Women in Law by Crain’s, Jessica has helped a variety of media and technology companies negotiate the agreements that support their digital media initiatives. She is a member of MoMA’s Friends of Education and sits on the board of directors for The Laundromat Project.
Anibal A. Luque
Founder and Managing Attorney of Luque PLLC
Anibal A. Luque provides legal advice and practical counsel to creatives and entrepreneurs across the globe. Following today's progressive merging of industries, Anibal caters to the needs of companies and individuals who create products and provide services utilizing technology in the areas of music, art, and fashion. His clients consist of companies that provide services and innovative products in the technology, media, apparel, and beverage industries, as well as those with an eye toward social enterprise. As an enthusiastic young entrepreneur himself, Anibal strives to help like-minded people achieve success with the right legal planning.
National Director of Health Services for Entertainment Community Fund (Formerly The Actors Fund)
Renata Marinaro is an experienced social worker and current National Director of Health Services for ECF, a human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. Her accomplishments include starting the Friedman Health Center for Performing Arts, a primary and specialty care center in partnership with Mount Sinai Doctors in New York City; training and managing a national team of health insurance navigators and agents; and developing creative health literacy products. Her overarching goal is to create educated healthcare consumers with increased access to affordable care.
Executive Director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA)
Kay Takeda has worked for over 25 years to support the advancement of artists and the arts sector. Currently, she is Executive Director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), which recognizes artists making innovative work through unrestricted grants and responsive project support. Previously, she developed strategy and oversaw artist-focused initiatives at Joan Mitchell Foundation, including the launch of the multi-year Joan Mitchell Fellowship. In prior roles, Kay expanded local grantmaking community partnerships and professional development at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; led national grantmaking programs at Arts International, and managed exhibitions and programming at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor. She serves on the board of Movement Research, frequently sits on funding panels, and lectures widely on professional issues affecting artists.
Aaliya Zaveri is an immigration attorney whose practice focuses on extraordinary ability petitions. She represents individual and institutional clients from a diverse range of professions, including architectural design, classical music, and visual art. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Fordham Law, she worked in corporate securities litigation before practicing immigration law. Born in India and raised in Hong Kong, she now makes her home in Brooklyn, NY.
Artist, Cultural Worker
Rad Pereira (they/them) is a queer (im)migrant artist and cultural worker building consciousness between healing justice, system change, reindigenization and queer futures based in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn) and Haudenosaunee territory (northern Hudson Valley). Their work in performance, education, and social practice has been experienced on stages, screens, stoops, and sidewalks all over Turtle Island through the support of many communities, institutions, and groups. Their book, Meeting the Moment: Socially Engaged Performance, 1965-2020, By Those Who Lived It, is available through New Village Press. They are building a Native led food sovereignty project called Iron Path Farms.
Community Architect, Cooperative Journal Podcast Host
Ebony Gustave (she/her) is a web weaver, community architect, and storyteller. She is the host of Cooperative Journal podcast, an archive of interviews highlighting international examples of the solidarity economy. As a co-steward of its multimedia umbrella, she is bridging the gaps between political education, imagination, co-creation, and actualization. The common thread between all of her work is bringing awareness to, and activating, collective autonomy, care, and trust.
Founder of Olu & Company
Dubbed the “King of multi-tasking” by Anthony Haden-Guest in The Art Newspaper, Amani Olu is a serial entrepreneur with a strong background in exhibition making and art writing. He is the co-founder of Humble Arts Foundation, a 501c3 that began to support and promote new art photography in 2005. From 2008 to 2012, he curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary photography, and spearheaded the four-part series Young Curators, New Ideas. In 2011 he joined Nadine Johnson & Associates as an art publicist for clients such as the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Marlborough Chelsea, and the Dallas Art Fair. Eighteen months later, he was named managing editor of Whitewall, having previously contributed articles on artists William Eggleston, Zoe Crosher, Elad Lassry, and Rashaad Newsome. He left to establish Olu & Company, a marketing and business consultancy for individuals, businesses and organizations in the arts. Amani makes art under the name "Scott Avery,” and is currently developing IMG SRVR, a visual cloud storage service for creative industries.
Image © James Adams
Image © James Adams
Founding Coordinator of The Kola Nut Collaborative
Mike Strode is a writer, cyclist, IT consultant, facilitator, and solidarity economy organizer residing in southeast Chicago whose community engagement work has included ride leadership with the Chicago chapter of Red, Bike & Green; editorial and archival oversight for Fultonia; and co-facilitation of Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group. He is founding coordinator of the Kola Nut Collaborative, a time-based service and skills trading platform which promotes timebanking throughout Chicago. He also serves as a current board member for Dill Pickle Food Co-op.
Artist, Somatic Educator, Cultural Organizer
Marina Lopez (she/her) is a Mexican American performing and social practice artist, massage therapist/somatic educator, and cultural organizer. Her experience as a bodyworker is essential to her practice as an artist because we can’t separate the art from the body that makes it. Care work is culture work. As an artist, her work is an interdisciplinary weaving of many voices that links to history, social movements, and tradition. She is a co-organizer and creative collaborator with Art.coop. Marina seeks to create work that articulates and provides an embodied cognition of the ways in which art, culture, and care are foundational within a thriving society. Her work challenges the status quo of who we as a society uplift as expert voices, and inspires curiosity, collaboration, and solidarity.
Artist, Educator, Chief Culture Officer at Open Collective
Caroline Woolard (she/her) is an artist, educator, and the Chief Culture Officer at Open Collective, a technology platform that supports 15,000 groups to raise and spend $35 million a year in full transparency. Caroline is a founding co-organizer of Art.coop which exists to grow the Solidarity Economy movement by centering systems change work led by artists, and is the co-author of three books: Making and Being (Pioneer Works, 2019), a book for educators about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda; Art, Engagement, Economy (onomatopee, 2020) a book about managing socially-engaged and public art projects; and TRADE SCHOOL: 2009-2019, a book about peer learning that Caroline catalyzed in thirty cities internationally over a decade. Caroline’s artwork has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS.
Caroline was integral to the writing, making, and funding of all the courses in the Solidarity Economy section of the site.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
Artist, Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency
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.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
Artist, Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency
Joseph Ahmed (he/they) is a mixed race Asian, genderfluid, Philadelphia-based theater artist and arts administrator whose work swirls together the disciplines of theater, dance, circus, and interactive performance. They are a founding worker-owner of the interactive performance cooperative Obvious Agency, and a former company member of the Barrymore Award-winning physical theater/circus companies Tribe of Fools and Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. He co-directed ikantkoan’s Chaos Theory, which won Immersive Nation’s Best Social Immersion award in 2019. As an actor and director he has worked throughout Philadelphia with companies such as the Arden Theatre Company, Theater Exile, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Asian Arts Initiative, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, First Person Arts, and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. They hold a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
Director, Producer, Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency
Cat Ramirez (they/he/she) is an award-winning Philly-based performance director and producer who loves giant logistical puzzles, community meals, and bisexual lighting. Recent directing collaborators include Villanova University, Temple University, Philly Young Playwrights, PlayPenn, Lxs Primxs, Theatre Exile, Hedgerow Theatre Company, and Mel Hsu. They are the Creative Director for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA), the Staff Producer for the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and the Cooperative Operations Manager for Obvious Agency. Cat is a board member for the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and an alumni of the National New Play Network’s Producer-In-Residence Program. Cat has been recognized by Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs for their contributions to Asian American Theatre in the state of Pennsylvania.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
NO DEBT! Non-Extractive Loans
NO DEBT! Non-Extractive Loans
Actor, Writer, Producer, Cultural Worker
Chris Myers is an actor, writer, producer, and cultural worker, born and based in New York City. His performance work has been featured at leading cultural institutions, networks, and streaming platforms. As an organizer and popular educator, he teaches class politics to artists as a founding member of Anticapitalism for Artists. He the recipient of two Obie Awards—one for acting and one for his organizing work—as well as a CUNY Segal Center Award for Civic Engagement in the Arts. Education: Juilliard.
chrismyersinc.com / anticapitalismforartists.com
@chrismyersinc (IG) / @lilmaterialist (Twitter)
@chrismyersinc (IG) / @lilmaterialist (Twitter)
NO DEBT! Non-Extractive Loans
Artist, Writer, Communications Director of Boston Ujima
Cierra Peters is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work spans video, installation, writing, and experimental publishing, and she is the Director of Communications, Culture & Enfranchisement at the Boston Ujima Project, a cooperative business and investment ecosystem supporting communities of color. Cierra has given talks at deCordova Sculpture Park, Harvard Law School, and other institutions. She recently curated Combahee’s Radical Call, a year-long exhibition celebrating Black feminist organizing in Boston, and in 2021 built a residency at MassMOCA called Converging Liberations for artists of color.