+ (plus) gallery Chicago Reflection
We took the month of November to appreciate the many artists, vendors, and community members we have had the honor of disrupting and constructing with this year. This video is a glance of the dope experiences we’ve had this year, including meeting another + (Plus Sign), the artist behind the music. We truly appreciate the many artists and trouble makers who trusted us enough to join this effort.
Along with reflection, we have been setting intentions for next year. Gentrification, respectability politics, sustainability, Afro-futurism, and opportunities for youth are still important themes we’ll continue to explore in 2018. In addition to interactive exhibitions, we have added solo show opportunities for black and brown artists from the Lower West and South Side of Chicago. In addition to our gallery and community space, in 2018, we are introducing an affordable and transitional housing artist residence.
Below is an overall introduction to our current structure.
We want to remain a collaborative and community funded/sustained space as much as possible. We’ll use a limited liability company (LLC) to manage any funds from events, donations, and to employ people from the neighborhoods we exist in.
Pilsen Alliance has agreed to act as a project based fiscal agent when we seek funding to start self/community-sustaining and/or youth programs. For space-operating costs, we will rely on donations, services and merch, ticketed events, event rentals, and sponsorships from local and potentially larger businesses and organizations that match our mission and vision.
We are incorporating labor, utilities, rent and other operating costs into program budgets that operate in our spaces when possible. Any surplus of funds outside of operating costs will go towards the purchase of community land trusts, or to support other affordable housing initiatives in the neighborhoods we exist in. Over time, we plan on continuing to collaborate and merge with other organizations where applicable. We are reluctant participants of capitalism, and unfortunate citizens of an oligarchy. But we’re also on a future mission to get free, and understand this is an impossible venture without the collective. We believe space and art are essential for any community, however, we strive to be neighbors that don’t exist for our sustainability alone. As artists and space holders, we are committed to continued reflection and evaluation of our impact. We believe everyone has something to share. Moving forward, we will ask for deeper commitments from artists and visitors of our space to devote time, skills, or resources towards the movement for equity, and will continue to adjust our actions to reflect our mission and vision to the best of our ability.
The + pod is a group of long term volunteers, along with paid staff. Any long term paid positions are reserved for current residents of the neighborhoods we exist in. We may continue to rely on volunteers until our services and programs reach a point of sustainability. We know that commitment can be scary or not always possible, so we have the + peeps and + punks for those willing to share skills and resources based on capacity.
We’re excited for this next year, and look forward to seeing what else we can accomplish together.