Spirits and Logistics (Report)
Info: Caroline Woolard and Suryanarayanan, report, 2021, 179 pages, commissioned by the Center for Cultural Innovation
System: Art.coop

Commissioned by CCI and led by Caroline Woolard, Spirits and Logistics details ways grantmakers, universities, and arts Institutions can begin collaborating with with the BIPOC-led cooperative movement to build the future of Art Education.


Executive Summary


A scan of the arts and culture landscape in 2021 reveals a growing demand for education and training about cooperative forms of enterprise. Cooperatives (or co-ops) are democratic enterprises that are designed to meet people’s economic and social needs. In cooperatives, creatives can learn technical artistic skills alongside racially just and solidarity business practices by following internationally recognized principles. BIPOC-led co-ops have been proven to offer low-cost models for learning, high-quality jobs, and to build intergenerational wealth.

The cooperative and art sectors are uniquely positioned to advance education for creatives about cooperative enterprisesTo succeed, grantmakers and leaders in higher education, the public sector, arts institutions, and Co-op Developers must support collaboration across sectors and follow the lead of BIPOC creatives who are innovating the co-op model now. Nonprofits and public sector agencies must reimagine grants and investments beyond the 501c3.

We recommend 3 discrete pathways for arts and culture grantmakers, higher education, public sector workers, arts institutions, and cooperatives to build educational justice in arts and culture:

  1. Support and learn from BIPOC creatives who are innovating the co-op model now;

  2. Reimagine how grants and investments can be activated to nourish cooperatives, recognizing that the IRS does allow charitable nonprofits to fund worker-owned businesses through grants and program-related investment;

  3. Cultivate collaborations between the arts and cooperative sectors to offer cooperative education for creatives. 

This research led to the creation of five free, online courses distributed by CreativeStudy and funded by the Mellon Foundation as well as a longterm collaboration to develop a Cooperative Cultures Program with Mondragon University. Sign up for our pilot program here: https://courses.travellinguniversity.com/