Generating new resources to redress the balance of power in current arts grant-making.
ArtBnB is a project that aims to mobilise resources for solidarity through the rental or exchange of cultural spaces. The ArtBnB platform will be used to create a Solidarity Fund to support artists from vulnerable groups.
Our goal is to break the cycle of dependency on foreign donors by helping art communities generate their own, unrestricted resources, which they can manage in ways that foster solidarity and fairness.
We will generate income for art organisations by optimising their existing resources. The creation of new, sustainable income streams will allow us to set up an art fund that fills gaps in the grant-making ecosystem by supporting the circulation of artworks and mobility of artists; by providing structural and emergency funding; and by promoting advocacy work.
We propose to develop an ArtBnB platform that optimises the use of cultural spaces and generates additional income streams to support independent arts and culture and cultural spaces around the world. The international fund set up and financed through the rental of cultural spaces will not depend on institutional donor funding, but rather will generate its own income.
- Promotes solidarity through the exchange of art spaces and network resources.
- Connects travellers seeking a cultural immersion with vacant art spaces and residencies.
- Helps art spaces and residencies optimise their existing infrastructure.
- Enables art spaces and residencies to contribute to the creation of a solidarity funding stream.
A spirit of solidarity
Bel fallaguy: ‘It is not only about money.’
The participating art residencies will join the platform in a spirit of solidarity:
- On the platform, cultural spaces are not necessarily offered for a fee. They can be used for free, or in exchange for services. This is anticipated in the design of the platform, which offers the following payment options besides the fee: free, barter, or donation (to the fund created by the ArtBnB project).
- There are also solidarity incentives: the fund created by the platform has a special grant programme that covers the cost of hosting artists at risk and/or vulnerable groups (such as IDPs, refugees, and migrants). The platform will form partnerships with organisations supporting artists advocating for freedom of artistic expression and cultural diversity. Once an offer is confirmed by the partner organisation, the grant programme will cover the costs of the stay.
How will the platform keep its spirit of solidarity?
Acceptance to the platform will be subject to sponsorship, i.e., an art residency will only be accepted once its profile has been validated by a referee. A network of referees/verifiers will be assigned per country (five contact points). These referees will receive a notification when a residency profile requiring their approval is created on the ArtBnB platform of their country. The profiles they select will be reviewed and the list updated every three years. As gatekeepers of the platform, the referees will ensure that it is not highjacked by commercial interests.
ArtBnB is closely linked to the prototypes of Solidarity Economies and other RESHAPE trajectories:
- Solidarity Manifesto: to gain access to the ArtBnB platform, users have to agree to the values expressed in the Manifesto.
- Solidarity Game: new users who sign up to the Manifesto and create a profile will receive a PDF copy of The Gamified Workshop Toolkit: Values of Solidarity as a welcome gift.
- Governance Track: The Solidarity Fund, created from resources generated by the platform, will give us an opportunity to test and implement the governance model proposed by the Reshapers. In particular the ‘Autonomous Board for Something Else of the Governance of The Possible’.
How does it work?
When visiting the ArtBnB platform for the first time, you are invited to sign the Manifesto and create an account as either a Host or a Guest. You can also sign in using an existing profile.
You can then look for available art spaces: use numerous filters to refine your search, find the space that matches your needs, and book the space. You can also choose to collaborate with the owner of a space.
Different procedures apply for Hosts and Guests.
Creating an account as a Host:
- A Host offers a space and/or services for rent or use.
- As a Host, you need to create a profile for your space so that Guests can find it easily when they run a search.
- You will be required to fill out a form and provide detailed information about your space and what it offers.
- In your profile, you can modify this information and manage the reservations you receive. You can also send and receive messages to and from other Guests or users, and choose what others see.
Creating an account as a Guest:
- A Guest is a user of an art space who consults the platform to find the Host space that best matches his or her needs and preferences.
- A Guest creates a profile in the same way as a Host, but has a shorter form to fill out.
- As a Guest, you can manage, view, postpone, or cancel your reservations in your profile. You can also modify your personal information, choose what others see, post projects, and present your vision.
Revenue streams for the ArtBnB platform
The platform will generate income through subscriptions, donations, and by taking a percentage on transactions. It will be managed by an NGO or social enterprise, and will commit 50 percent of its annual profits to the creation of an International Artists and Cultural Workers Solidarity Fund.
Revenue streams for the Solidarity Fund
The platform will generate revenue for the fund by contributing 50 percent of the income earned on user transactions; by donating the hosting net profit obtained from residencies (subscribers); and through voluntary donations.
Grant-making schemes of the Solidarity Fund
- Solidarity funding: The flagship scheme of the fund, dedicated to art residencies that make their spaces available to vulnerable groups, including artists at risk.
- Mobility Fund: A fund dedicated to filling the gaps of existing international mobility schemes.
- Emergency funding: A reactive fund to address immediate needs in an emergency situation or crisis, such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Advocacy funding: Funding dedicated to advocacy work to reinforce the position of vulnerable cultural workers.
- Core funding: Funding to support the running costs of selected art organisations and enterprises.
ArtBNB website description
ArtBnB is an online platform that helps art and cultural spaces sustain their activities and allows artists to travel and network internationally, avoiding the bureaucratic procedures and restrictions that exist in the current European art system. All users of the platform are united by common values stated in a manifesto. The platform facilitates the hosting and/or renting of unused art spaces around the world, both institutional and independent ones. Part of the income generated by the platform will be dedicated to the creation of the Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to help cultural workers from all over the world who are cut off from the European economic umbrella and don’t have the possibility to travel (closed borders, conflict zones, and so on). The Foundation helps to establish communication and overcome constraining and exclusionary circumstances.
This website will allow travellers, including artists who are looking for cultural immersion, to find a vacant art space or residency that they can use for a certain period in exchange for financial contribution or any other form of arrangement they would like. It is like ‘traveltodo’, but for art spaces.
This website also allows art space owners and residencies to optimise the usage of their existing infrastructure by offering their spaces on the platform and posting information about their space. The platform promotes a kind of ‘tourism solidaire’ whereby individuals, art supporters, and artists prefer to stay in such art and culture spaces and help them sustain their structure rather than spend money in big multinational hotel chains.
- People who are interested in new forms of accommodation when travelling.
- People who would like to experience a cultural immersion and interaction with locals.
- People who want to support art.
Art spaces and residencies:
- Any type of art space that has room to host one person or more: gallery, artist’s studio, cultural space, and residencies.
- There will be no restrictions on the legal status of the host spaces since in some areas of the world having a private sector legal status is the only way to survive oppression and dictatorship.
The website should be adapted for both desktop and mobile applications. The website should be multilingual. To start at least in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Swahili.
The website will contain:
This page will present the vision of the project and the most important information.
The page will display the main points of the solidarity manifesto, invite the visitor to explore it, and explain that it is an integral part of the ArtBnB philosophy.
‘Sign up/Sign in’ pages
These two pages will be accessible from the top-right menu on the homepage. They will invite the visitor to either create an account or connect to their existing account. The former scenario will take them to a separate page to fill out a registration form.
When signing up, users have to adhere to the solidarity manifesto before starting to fill out their registration form. Upon completion of their profile users will receive a welcome gift (applies to hosts as well) in the form of the PDF version of the Gamified Workshop Toolkit.
‘Host a guest’ page
This page will invite a potential Host to create an account and post information about their space. They will fill out a form that is divided into several sections for a better user experience. Hosts will be asked to share basic information about themselves, and describe the space they are offering: where it is located, what type of space it is (residency, gallery, museum...), what guests will have access to, how many people can be accommodated, what kind of equipment/services are provided. Each space will be presented with multiple photos, a unique name and internal rules, as well as contact information and a contact form to get in touch with the Host. In addition to describing the space, hosts can give info about the local context of their space, provide access to various cultural and artistic activities as well as inform Guests about what to expect upon their arrival.
Paying for the accommodation will take place through standard methods such as credit/debit cards, cash, and checks. Alternatively, Hosts can offer their space in exchange for a service by the Guest, for free, or for a mutual exchange of accommodation. In order to offer other methods of exchange besides money, the Platform will be designed in such a way that the confirmation of the booking is not pending on financial payment. When the Guest chooses the free option for the payment, he/she should be directed to the confirmation page directly.
‘My profile’ page:
This page will contain all the information that users themselves see as relevant to disclose. It will contain a dashboard section where guests will be able to view their search history and hosts can see all the guests who visited them. It will also include a financial summary, invoices, proofs of booking, and other relevant information.
There will also be a collaboration section where users can offer to work on a project together, either as hosts or as guests.
Through individual profile pages, users will have a chance to message other users and track history of their conversations.
‘Search result’ page
This page will display results for visitors looking for accommodation. Non-available spaces will not be displayed for the time slot chosen by the host. The user will have several filters available to refine their search by location, type of space, payment method, price, art activities and other criteria. These filters will have sub-filters for a more refined search.
The results will display information about the Host and will have a button ‘offer something’ that will allow anyone to offer their services or to suggest a collaboration instead of paying money.
Guests can choose to contact the Host either on the platform or directly through an email or phone.
Standard form that will allow users to get in touch with people maintaining the platform.
Standard introduction about how the idea was developed and the RESHAPE programme history.
The platform will not allow any user data to be sold or exchanged and no third party will have access to the data. The data saved on this platform will not be used for user profiling or online behaviour tracking. This should be inscribed in the legal document of the ArtBnB platform and in the contract with the structure that will be managing it.
This platform should be respectful of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will provide a secure connection to its users.
Developed in the framework of the RESHAPE trajectory Solidarity Economies whose members were Ouafa Belgacem, Ekmel Ertan, Harald Geisler, Anastasya Kizilova, Dorota Ogrodzka, Anikó Rácz, Laure de Selys and Doreen Toutikian, facilitated by Nike Jonah.
This text is licenced under the Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.