November 15, 2021
We are the Banana Leaf Collective, a small network of cultural workers based in the Twin Cities. The Collective was formed this past spring, and recently moved into a studio space in Northeast Minneapolis. We are reaching out to our personal networks and the greater community to help us build a stronger financial foundation for our collective.
Banana Leaf Collective emerged as a means of gathering for creativity and community support, with a focus on nurturing young and early-career Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) working in the arts, media, and digital technology. The Collective’s philosophy is inspired by the work of grassroots cultural organizers; artist collectives; co-working spaces; farmers and craft markets; and mutual aid practices.
As a collective, we ask what it might look like to build economic freedom, abundance, and joy in community with our peers. We imagine a future with a more equitable and abundant creative labor system, where hyper-individualized and competitive patterns of support are obsolete. Where participation in the creative economy is not reduced to those who do it full time, have a studio, or access to grant funding. We imagine a future with the freedom to explore and hone our crafts without fear of endangering our livelihoods. We are building collective ownership of a space where we can empower and support one another.
HOW IT WORKS
Banana Leaf Collective aims to maximize our 1,000 square feet of space for community use. The space is intended for flexible use defined by Collective members’ needs and goals, whether as an art studio, gallery or exhibition space, meeting space, marketplace, or rehearsal space.
By creating an accessible work and gathering space, we are able to increase participation in the local creative economy. Many of us desire our own office or studio space but can’t afford to pay a few hundred dollars a month for it. For a minimum of $30 per month, Banana Leaf Collective members will have access to studio space and equipment; a community that can gather and collaborate online or in person; events, workshops, and more. We ask that members consider their time, space/equipment use, and how much they can comfortably contribute to determine how much they pay each month.
Banana Leaf Collective behaves like a membership-owned co-op but operates as a single member limited liability company (LLC). This designation allows for community members to participate in the Collective without having to be legally and financially tied to it. The Collective is sustained by revenue generated via membership fees, the production and sale of our own goods, and space rental fees.
Your donation will go a long way towards supporting Banana Leaf Collective. In addition to paying monthly studio rent ($2,139), we need to invest in high quality studio equipment and maintain our inventory of basic office and cleaning supplies. By easing our financial burden, our Collective is able to focus on creating content and sharing our space and resources with the community. Those who donate $25 or more will receive a copy of the first issue of the Banana Leaf Collective zine, which will be published December 31, 2021.
To learn more about Banana Leaf Collective and follow our journey, check out our Instagram