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  • Stefanie Cohen

The counter-cultural and the counter-intuitive state of gifting and receiving vs. buying and selling

We acknowledge the multiple roles that artists play in the communities in which we live. We serve not only as makers but as educators, healers, and cultural producers, most often juggling many competing positions and projects at a time. Among us, within our small cohort for example, we run two different community art spaces within blocks of one another on the west side of Detroit; we offer two residencies, and have multiple teaching practices, on top of creating and sharing our art works individually and collaboratively.

Myriad manifestations of the same creative energy that neither begins nor ends with us, but which is ours in this lifetime to use generously and well.

As a cohort we regularly contribute 10% of our monthly incomes towards one another in order to palpably feel our interdependence and the roles that we play in uplifting one another work and lives.

At this point, we're now actively seeking support and input from others in order to:

  • GIFT our art and its resources to many more in our community than could have afforded it in the past.

  • step up and to serve in our roles even more holistically and interdependently.

  • lend our energies more diligently to our works in the world. To be able to focus on creating GOOD work (even, and most especially, the bad art!)

  • and to help ground us in the ability to care for ourselves, one another, and our families.

It's scary to ask for this support.

We are more familiar with not asking. With not deserving.

But it's time to live in to our place and our roles. It's time to uplift one another and shift the paradigm. It's time to breathe deeply; to live and serve humbly and with joy.

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