I’m honored to serve on the governing board of Fractured Atlas, a national organization that helps creative people and creative projects along their journey with fundraising tools, educational resources, and personalized support. To imagine and explore other opportunities to empower working artists and creative projects, the organization commissioned Alexis Frasz of Helicon Collaborative to write an “Opportunity Scan” of six possible paths. The public report from this effort is now available.
The six opportunities were selected in conversation with Fractured Atlas staff, board, and membership; with partner and peer institutions; and with the report’s author. The goal was not to “pick a winner” and run with it, but rather to interrogate the ecology of artist support, and imagine ways we might play a useful role as provider, partner, advocate, or ally. The six opportunities explored were:
- Access to Capital – “the challenges that entrepreneurs face in how they access the capital they need to start up and grow their businesses.”
- Mutual Aid – “people democratically self-organizing to meet their own and/or others’ needs outside of market structures, the state, and philanthropy.”
- Guaranteed Income – “recurring, unrestricted, and unconditional cash transfer provided to people earning below a certain level of income” (Jain Family Institute).
- Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) – “one part of a larger emerging ‘Web3’ universe, which use blockchain technology to verify transactions, create contracts, and make payments in a decentralized way.”
- 1099 Worker Protection and Benefits – “potential solutions to the precarity that people working as independent contractors (those who receive a 1099 tax form instead of a W2 in the U.S.) face in regards to standard employee benefits such as unemployment insurance, workers compensation, disability, and paid leave.”
- Worker Cooperatives – “businesses that are owned and governed by members for their collective benefit.”
The report offers definitions of each term, examples from the arts and adjacent communities, and opportunities for action that could benefit artists.
REPORT CITATION: Alexis Frasz. Opportunity Scan: Opportunities to Support Artists’ Ability to Thrive. Edited by Vicky Blume, Theresa Hubbard, Sophia Park, Taji Senior. Fractured Atlas, January 2023.