Artist Cooperatives: Structure - Bylaws Continued

Again, there should be at least three types of membership.

  • Equity Members. Artists meeting qualifications for exhibiting/performing and who have a “stake” in the cooperative (owner/worker with a voice in the organization’s operations, exhibits, and new members), and which usually include financial contributions.  Equity members usually work in the space a set number of hours/month, eliminating the cost of hired staff. Qualifications for equity membership may include: artistic excellence as approved through a juried process, start-up or equity payment, and interview to assess intent to work cooperatively with other equity members.
  • Associate Members. Artists who have not met the qualifications for equity membership (artistic excellence or equity payment) but who pay an annual fee for the cooperative’s other benefits.  They are not afforded the privilege of exhibit or performance space, but only the use of studio space, equipment, library, etc.
  • Patron Members. Those who believe in the cooperative’s mission and make an annual donation at a specified level. They receive special invitations to the cooperative’s events; some may be asked to serve on the governing board.

Other Members also make a financial contribution.

  • Emerging Artists. This serves as a training ground for future, potential members who are  usually identified through a competition; the winners are provided with an exhibit and/or group exhibit invitation
  • Guest Artists. Accomplished artists from outside the geographical limits of equity membership might be invited to produce an exhibition or performance
  • Other Donors. This group receives the newsletter and notices of exhibits for smaller-sized donations



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