Have you ever scrambled to find last-minute supplies or tools for a project or event? Have you ever needed a projector screen and had to use a shower curtain instead? Have you ever used a bullhorn from [insert box store name here] instead of a proper PA? Have you thrown an event, and due to lack of resources, felt the end result fell short of what you envisioned?
We at Indy Art | Media Co-op share a mission toempower non-profits, socially-conscious organizations, social entrepreneurs, and artists to distribute creative content that promotes social awareness, education, and action through collaboration. Cultivating awareness, sharing & learning in Indianapolis are some of our main objectives, and our strategic goal this year is to establish a Tool Lending Library ofmedia & event equipment to make the tools of cultural production accessible to the least-heard voices of our city.
For organizers, social entrepreneurs, and artists alike, ease of access to quality resources can often dictate creative capacity, event effectiveness, and overall community impact. The purpose of the Tool Lending Library is eliminate any pre-existing resource access gaps and ensure that people from all racial, social, and economic backgrounds have equal access to the right tools. In effort to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard, The Tool Lending Library would lend media production and event equipment including but not limited to:
- Tabling at fairs (canopies, chairs…)
- Recording events for distribution or web content (cameras, lighting, tripods…)
- A/V equipment to enhance the quality of neighborhood events (projectors, PAs, microphones…)
Your input is needed! What Would You Like to Borrow? Survey
We aim to unveil the first Indianapolis tool lending library within the next 6 months, but the idea’s not new. Even Bloomington’s Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard lends tools. This Vancouver study on the sharing economy also is enlightening as to how people are sharing in light of an economy that continues to disadvantage the working class.
Asset Sharing = Equality of Access
Our financially sustainable model is still in the works, so these numbers are initial estimates, but we envision members (paying a low annual fee) will be able to utilize library tools for as little as a dollar-a-day. Non-members will pay a little more, around 5% of the item replacement cost. Donations of over $100 in equipment will get you a year membership, free. Donate $300 of equipment and receive a life-time membership. Yearly membership costs for individuals are still being priced, but know that, with Family Plans & Organizational Memberships (these options are more & most economic, respectively), we will work to ensure that the door is wide-open no matter who you are.
Imagine an Indianapolis where our beautiful cultural diversity was expressed through a multitude of engaging community gatherings. Our city has the spirit, now let’s get co-operative!