Mary Dinnen (see Post 14 December, immediately below) has followed up with an idea reminiscent of the Free Money Day held mid-September this year and initiated by the Post Growth Institute:
I have a project that has been gestating for a while. As you probably know, Santa Fe is the 2nd or 3rd largest art "market" in this country. So it is exceptional in that way. I envision this project happening here, but could also take place anywhere.
Free Art Day - for one day artists will take to the streets, offering a small piece of art to whoever they want to. In preparation for this 'demonstration of giving', media will be used to open discussion as to how artists ARE in community, how art IS in community, and challenge the old paradigms of galleries, state and federal arts funding, just begin breaking down the walls of ART BUSINESS that separate art from community. The idea of Free Art is more a verb than noun. To free art from it's monetary tether, from the glamour that surrounds the art(business)world, and from the notion that generally, artists are outsiders from community. In essence, bring the real love back into the relationships of artist and community.
Frankly, artists give work away all the time, to good causes, non-profit orgs for benefits, etc...
The short of it is to take out the middle man — let artists do their one-on-one in community en masse.
Although I have not kept up with it, Santa Fe Time Bank is our local barter project of trading. A bit different, it values only services, not products... all hours of equal value. While none of these different projects are comprehensive by themselves, it is the intent and energy behind the projects/ideas that has great power. In essence, by looking at and participating in these alternative ways of living, we are helping to break down the old paradigms, which really is the task at hand. Once this takes place, us humans will truly have a different perspective from which we will have much more room to see where and how to move forward. I see all the variety of human activist movements at this time as something to keep our hands busy while the really big changes take place, while our human consciousness is rapidly evolving. It is feeding the fire, starving the fears.