CULTURE COIN: A COMMONS-BASED, COMPLEMENTARY CURRENCY FOR THE ARTS AND ITS IMPACT ON SCARCITY, VIRTUE, ETHICS, AND THE IMAGINATION

Vijay Mathew, Polly Carl

Abstract


This article argues that the current economic design of the US not-for-profit arts sector, specifically theatre, fails to support the long-term wellness of the cultural worker and the cultural commons. As a solution, we propose a global, commons-based alternative economy and complementary currency called Culture Coin that creates new wealth, abundance, and virtuous social behaviors by matching unmet needs with underutilized resources that our current economy fails to circulate. The current design of our arts economy results in generative artists being disproportionately poorer, unjust disparities in how resources are distributed, and social behaviors in the nonprofit sector that mimic for-profit, commercial enterprises. The arts sector has an over-dependence on uncompensated or undercompensated “sweat equity†and volatile philanthropic funding. We detail the value and characteristics of a commons framework for entrepreneurial activity and describe internet-enabled peer production as a way to build cultural commons as well as the most effective way to collectively co-create and deploy the Culture Coin project.


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Copyright (c) 2015 Vijay Mathew

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