I'm in a teeny collective that's working to open a new worker-owned infoshop in Portland, OR. We're currently callings ourselves the Axiom Collective, but we're probably going call the infoshop something different when we open. We formed last November, and after spending the last five months brainstorming and articulating what we want to do with the infoshop, we're moving on to fundraising.
We hope to open in the spring of 2010 with $28,000. If that sounds like a ridiculous amount of money, there's a reason: that figure is meant to cover all of our start-up costs plus six months worth of operating expenses. A lot of spaces open without enough money, and then close a few months later (while running up a ton-o-debt). We want to avoid that.
We're designing the infoshop to be totally financially self-sustainable. When creating our "business plan", we intentionally sought out ways to make a profit -- which will be used to support the space, it's workers, and radical projects in town.
Our mission, as it's written now, is "to act as a hub for radical projects and movements in Portland. We seek to cultivate and support projects that promote community independence, autonomy, and mutual aid." We will fulfill our mission through...
Giving mini-grants of $100 - $500 to projects that promote community independence, autonomy, and mutual aid.
- Assembling a team of volunteer advisors -- community organizers with a diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and approaches -- who will provide ongoing support to our clients by sharing experience, contacts, resources, and more.
- Publishing a series of "One Page Guides' on a variety of problems that frequently plague collectives. Topics will include decision making, fundraising, outreach, and more.
- Maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date list of resources for collectives in Portland. Everything from computer help to publicity opportunities, and much more.
- Hosting meetings and events.
- Offering low-cost photocopies for fliers, pamphlets, and more.
That's us in a nutshell. Any thoughts? Advice? Critiques? We'd love to hear it. To learn more about us, visit our MySpace (real website coming soon!).