cooking, baking, dramaturgy, rehearsal outside eye, tech support, budgeting, grant app feedback, access and engagement advice, babysitting, sewing, stage-managing, photography, graphic design, editing/proofreading, driving, manual labor, gardening, filming, providing company, painting, playing, project management, soundboarding, website building, mentoring, facilitating.
The Generosity Bank is a database of skills, the sharing of which will be recorded as a public system of exchange.
This system is not designed to replace your paid work. Instead, it is to complement it and recognise that the constant bind of “I need help with X but I can only pay for it in coffee and hugs” is a devaluing of X as a skill as well as of your own capacity to return this labor with your own.
The Generosity Bank is an experiment and I don’t know how it will work (yet) or how it’s going to go. I do know that I want it to start a conversation about how we:
a) undervalue the skills that don’t directly earn us money
b) already work in a barter economy
I raised this idea one week ago. Since then, I’ve already spoken to three different artists who said they couldn’t think of any skills they had to offer. This is capitalism running its sticky fingers through our self-worth and should be flung to the wind.
We all already do this. It is second nature to offer our time, our care, our attention and our effort.
We go for coffee and give advice.
We proofread each other’s applications.
We go to rehearsals and give feedback.
All The Generosity Bankis doing is widening the pool of skills on offer and broadening the network of exchange beyond ‘my three friends who always show up to an 11pm tech with brownies’.
From the outset I want to set these three values as the foundation for this system.
This system will only work if:
a) I’m clear about the system design choices I’m making. I’m going to keep a record of this project as it unfolds in aid of this; conversations and discoveries, as well as mistakes and learnings.
b) This system is self-administering and self-regulating. Ie. we can all see what skills are being shared by who, to who, and how often.
We work together and value each other’s labor.
We adjust the ‘working for free’ mentality that is so deeply embedded in the arts.
How can I be involved?
I am collecting EOIs to work out the range of skills on offer before building this database. Please find the form below. For ideas on what you can offer, see the top of this page.
If you have any questions or feedback, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love Liv x