I’m happy to report that my odyssey in producing Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons -- my new book on the commons with coauthor Silke Helfrich -- is over....at least, the writing part. Last week we submitted the manuscript to New Society Publishers for publication in September. A German translation will be published by transcript Verlag in April. More about the book in later posts, but for now, I am pleased that I will be able to blog much more frequently than I was able in 2018 I have a backlog of items and reflections to share! Let's start with HowlRound, a real pioneer in commoning.
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The beauty of the commons paradigm is that it can emerge and flourish in areas of life that no one suspects could possibly host it…..such as live theater. Over the years I’ve watched with pleasure and amazement as HowlRound, a project based at Emerson College in Boston, has helped artists and administrators of noncommercial theater see their work in a new light – as ventures in commoning. [The term “howlround” refers to the feedback loop that occurs when the sound from a loudspeaker is picked up by the microphone of a public-address system.]
Now the remarkable history of the organization is told in an excellent study by Alexis Frasz and Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative, an Oakland-based research and strategy firm that helps cultural organizations. “The Birth of a Theater Commons: HowlRound from 2009 to 2017,” released in September 2018, explains the origins and growth of HowlRound as a commons since its founding in 2009. A shorter version of the report can be read here.