Should Trade School re-open? We're using Kickstarter to find out. We will open Trade School in September if we raise at least $9,000 by June 27.
What is Trade School?
At Trade School, students barter for instruction. We turn storefront space into a platform for learning, a place where enthusiasts and specialists teach in exchange for basic items from students. Anyone can offer to teach a class. Students sign up for classes by agreeing to meet the teacher's barter needs. We ran Trade School for 35 days and we want to open again!
What happened at Trade School?
From February 25th to March 1st, we ran Trade School at GrandOpening in the Lower East Side. Over the course of 35 days, more than 800 people participated in 76 single session classes. Classes ran for 1, 2, or 3 hours and ranged from scrabble strategy to composting, from grant writing to ghost hunting. In exchange for instruction, teachers received everything from running shoes to mixed CDs, from letters to a stranger to cheddar cheese. We ran out of time slots for teachers to teach and classes filled up so quickly that we had to turn people away. This made us think: we should keep doing this...
How did we do it the first time?
Everyone contributed time and materials to support a community that values cooperation over competition. Rich Watts bartered design work for GrandOpening's storefront space and help conceptualizing Trade School. Louise Ma and Rich Watts designed the website and Caroline Woolard coordinated with teachers to make the class schedule. We made a weatherproof flag, bucket furniture, hook-filled shelving, and a huge chalkboard. Incredibly rigorous, creative thinkers gave time to Trade School from day one. See more at: http://tradeschool.ourgoods.org
What do we need to do it again?
Starting in September, 2010, we want to open Trade School again. Many people asked us to continue Trade School, but we need help! If we raise $9,000 or more, we can pay for the materials that cannot be salvaged. We can also give some money to a Trade School coordinator who fields class proposals, schedules classes with teachers, and is responsible opening and closing the space.
What is Trade School about?
Trade School re-thinks value. When I give my teacher something specific (apples, fabric, design help, etc.) in order to participate in on his or her class, we are no longer strangers. Trade School rejects cold cash transactions because barter fosters relationships. Teachers and students alike learn and connect in a space where everyone has something valuable to exchange. Kind words for Trade School "Trade School: where ideas are currency." —The New York Times "It is an engaging and appealing model of ways to think and live." —Huffington Post "We have so much heart and skills in this country, yet so much passion goes into money and strategy and competition. There is no reason we can’t turn the crazy wealth of this world towards a vision of people giving and sharing and learning and not having to be so single-mindedly driven." —Christopher Robbins, artist, community organizer and Trade School teacher "I met all those people, that’s a lot to get in exchange. Imagine meeting the same number of people randomly chosen on the street... Please thank them for me." —Gary Linkoff, mycologist and Trade School teacher "Trade School is beautiful. It should live on." —Elizabeth Jones, food design strategist and Trade School teacher "I can’t say enough good things about Trade School itself and the idea of an artist-run barter-economy school." —Amy Whitaker, artist, author of Museum Legs and Trade School teacher "A brilliant idea whose time is NOW." —Ellen Gordon Reeves, author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? "What a wonderful project!" —Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift
For more information about Trade School and a list of past classes, visit: http://tradeschool.ourgoods.org