Members of This Collective of Makers Share Experiences, Best Practices
In September 2020, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), along with a national partnership of arts organizations and funders, co-convened 14 artists from across the nation to attend SOCAP. The cohort of artists almost immediately expressed an interest in creating a collective body that could support their individual work and the more immediate needs of that work, while building toward something bigger and more deliberate. From that sentiment and inspired by traditional gifting circles, the Artist-Led Giving Circle (ALGC) formally launched in October 2020.
“We were gathered from across the country. We met as strangers joined by common dreams. We came as dancers, dreamers, theater folk, organizers, founders, poets—doers of all types; all lovers of Livity. Wanting for one another what we wanted for ourselves: we became community.”— Ayodele Nzinga, Artist-Led Giving Circle Member
The Artist-Led Giving Circle is a collective of makers from across the U.S. and Canada that are activating space in community in art, film, tech, music, agriculture, and place-making. This year at SOCAP22, the Artist-Led Giving Circle has launched a new podcast series, hosted by YBCA. Each episode of the series dives into the stories of members from the majority-BIPOC-led giving circle as they share their experience stewarding new forms of community wealth distribution and share their visions for a new economy. Listen in: The podcast is available on Amazon and Spotify.
Learn more about the first episodes in the series:
Power of giving circles & wealth redistribution, with Erin Washington: In this artist-led conversation, we hear from founding Giving Circle Member Erin Washington, and multi-disciplinary artist Toran X Moore, as they discuss the power of giving circles as a model for resourcing creative practice, sharing community wealth, and sustaining movements in the deep south.
Funding systems-level change, with Ayodele Nzinga: Head of Creativity and Impact at YBCA, Meklit Hadero is joined by Giving Circle founding member, arts and culture theoretician & practitioner Ayodele Nzinga — as well as artists, Karen Smith and Lisa Evans, individuals close to Ayodele’s practice and work. Together, they explore the power of artist-led work, funding for systems-level change, what funders need to do now to make true and equitable change, and the power of funding yourself as also being part of liberatory work.
Indigenous Practices and the Gift Economy with Melissa Shaginoff: Director of Artist Investment at YBCA Stephanie Imah is in conversation with founding Giving Circle Member, Ahtna and Paiute artist and curator Melissa Shaginoff. In this conversation, we hear from Melissa on her indigenous practice of tanning hide, the power of gifting and circular economies, and the importance of nourishing and valuing relationships to all our relatives.
Relationships as catalysts for change with Victoria Rae Moore: Head of Creativity and Impact at YBCA Meklit Hadero is joined by Giving Circle founding member Victoria Rae Moore – co-founder of TINYisPowerful – as well as multimedia artist Gwylene Gallimard, and Rayn, a design-centric person. Join in as they discuss resilience in movement-building work, relationships as catalysts for change, and remind listeners of the power of process vs product.
Artists are community healers with Allison Akootchook Warden: In this artist-led conversation, we hear from Iñupiaq installation artist and founding Giving Circle member Allison Akootchook Warden in conversation with artist and gift recipient Aqqalu Berthelsen as they discuss the role of artists as community healers and the relationship between gifting and Inupiaq culture.