The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

I’m curious about “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex,” a new book by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (Boston: South End Press). Though I happily work with non-profits, I’m skeptical that this structure can result in widespread social change.

The good thing about non-profits is that everyone should have the satisfaction of fighting the good fight in their work. Dedicated, brilliant people work in non-profits, and young people get opportunities for leadership. But it’s unsustainable, driven by grant cycles and funding trends. Non-profit work doesn’t always provide adequate training, and certainly doesn’t offer competitive compensation!

I realize how non-profits can be manipulated to ultimately reinforce the capitalist status quo, but still, the book title makes me cringe a little. It seems to minimize the much more sinister military- and prison- industrial complexes, whose human costs are very real.

One chapter, “Non-Profits and the Autonomous Grassroots,” is written by Eric Tang, one of the smartest revolutionaries I’ve met. I met him when I lead a mural project at CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities in the Bronx years ago. It’s probably worth the cost of the book just for Tang’s practical, informed analysis.

Citizenship, Values

A Solution to the Dilemma of Artists and Non-profit Auctions?

I’m happy to support non-profit organizations who support the arts or do good work in the community by donating art to them for auctions. However, it takes time and money to make art, much less get it framed and deliver it, and then help publicize the event to improve its chances of success. Often, emerging artists donate work much more often then they sell it. Here’s a that donating to a non-profit will be more equitable and less costly.

The Artist Tax Deduction Bill is finally up for action. Please take the time to support this important bill as its passage will impact all individual artists. Go to the link below to send a message to your representatives and senators. Please forward this information to your mailing list!

Artist Deduction Bill Introduced in the House
03-19-2007: After announcing at the Congressional Arts Breakfast on Arts Advocacy Day that he would be the lead sponsor for the Artist Deduction Bill, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) introduced the bill on March 14, 2007, joined by Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN). Identical to a Senate bill introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), the bill supports individual artists by allowing them to take a fair-market value tax deduction for tangible works they donate to nonprofit collecting and educational organizations, and it benefits the public by giving them access to more art. Send a message to your members of Congress asking them to be a co-sponsor of this important bill, H.R. 1524 (House) and S. 548 (Senate).