THESIS BLOG - PT.2: WHAT ARE SOME OTHER OPTIONS?
FEBRUARY 5, 2008 9:41 PM

What are some other options?

In the introduction to The Revolution will not be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, collaboratively written and edited by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, Andrea Smith points out many of the complexities concerning non-profit organizations in their ability to perpetuate stasis, absorb resistance or change, and promote the interests of a wealthy contingent through the funding of family foundations and corporate donors. Though INCITES!'s text primarily focuses on organizations with visions of social justice, their critique of available funding models shares many of the same concerns with arts administrators such as Arthurs and Storr.

In addition, INCITE! addresses the ways in which the non-profit industrial complex, "promotes a social movement culture that is non-collaborative, narrowly focused, and competitive." Such competition also affects arts organizations and individual artists, who are obligated to divert both time and energy away from what are traditionally seen as creative processes in order meet financial obligations via the courting and cultivating of state and federal granting agencies, private foundations, wealthy individual donors, etc. This level of competition allows for minimal opportunities for collaboration among likeminded organizations, often competing for the same support.

How then do organizations and artists interested in social and political change move forward? Is an oppositional or autonomous approach the only solution? What can be salvaged from the current state of non-profit organizations? What are the possibilities for a hybrid approach? How can artists offer fresh perspectives on administrative and organizational approaches? What are some other options?

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