New York City can feel like a difficult place to make art, but often the resources we need to make our work are right there in our community. The Idea Lab, a facilitated workshop that brings creative practitioners together to share their challenges, resources, and skills, helps connect artists, designers, and craftspeople to share ideas and resources. Participants will leave with actionable ideas, a better understanding of their challenges, and a new support network. This Idea Lab will be facilitated by OurGoods.org cofounders Jen Abrams and Caroline Woolard.

Idea Labs are an adaptation of Idea Parties, a format for resource sharing introduced to Caroline Woolard by Erin Marie Sickler at a TradeSchool.coop class in 2010. Sickler learned the Idea Party format from noted career counselor Barbara Sher. The Idea Lab has been refined by Jen Abrams and Caroline Woolard at OurGoods.org over the past six years.

Jen Abrams is cofounder of OurGoods.org, which developed, in part, out of her experiences making and presenting dances at WOW Cafe Theater, a collectively run women and trans performance space. Abrams believes that creative people are more successful when we make our work within a community of shared values, mutual respect, and generosity. When she is not running OurGoods.org or running after her daughter, Abrams is a multidisciplinary performance artist and anti-racism activist. Her current social practice project, Breaking White Silence, invites white people to talk about what white culture is and how it upholds systemic racism, often without our consent or awareness.

Caroline Woolard is an artist and organizer whose interdisciplinary work facilitates social imagination at the intersection of art, urbanism, and political economy. In Woolard’s work, police barricades become beds; money is erased in public; a clock ticks for 99 years; public seats attach to stop sign posts; café visitors use local currency; office ceilings hold covert messages; 10,000 students attend classes by paying teachers with barter items; and statements about arts graduates are read on museum plaques. Woolard is the cofounder of the cultural equity initiatives OurGoods.org, TradeSchool.coop, and BFAMFAPhD.com, and is the co-creator of the discrete projects Barricade to Bed, Shaker Residence, and Of Supply Chains.

This is a free event, but completion of a registration form is required. Participants should be prepared to share and exchange ideas during the program. The program starts promptly at 6:30 p.m.; please arrive five minutes prior.