Madison it stretches and grows but not everyone is at that table because the table grows wider and longer everyday. Transformation of housing options has not even started. So we must whistle while we widdle the what we have now.
((((((((((((Ten more years- Expand–COOPERATIVES IN DANE COUNTY AND ACROSS THE STATE)))))))))))
(Independent Media Benefit Update, Madison, WI)
Crystal Corner Bar on Willy Street housed, last night’s music -filled benefit*, for three Madison cooperatives- Rainbow Books Cooperative, Madison Infoshop, and Lakeside Printing Press. Those living the cooperative movements struggle to stay housed. That’s a theme in Madison. As we dream and work toward transforming our city toward more cooperative approaches toward shifting smaller businesses to worker-owned and support the alternative media outlets in the process. New to the list in Madison is Four Star Video, workers there are in the process of buying the business from the owner. May others follow their lead. And may rumored mashing of current cooperatives- Lakeside Printing Press, Rainbow Books Cooperative, and The Madison Infoshop will be housed together and thrive with community support!
The Crystal is two bars in one. I was told, there is an active side, where the bands play and people dance, and then a mellow side where sitting and talking happens. I danced, between the two spaces throughout the night. Awkward at times, but moving out of comfort zones, is a must for energy weaving.
It was also a healing space. Music heals. So does community. Because it was a benefit for cooperatives, members of Madison Community Cooperative (MCC) a cheap housing source in Madison attended. My critical view of the housing cooperatives has not faded from my week’s ago exchange, with members of MCC. And last night, I loudly processed through conversation with a young man was non-confrontational as we discussed my rejection from the house he lives at. He told me that although he appreciated my ‘passion’ it would be hard to live with and that is why Ambrosia Cooperative rejected my membership. I went on to explain how is MCC helping the homeless like me with housing? This week Ambrosia will host a training on Power/Privilege for MCC members and their board on February 22nd. This will be taught by Farheen Hakeem of North American Students of Cooperation who will visit from Chicago. Here is their website: http://www.nasco.coop/membership/directory to learn more about the national cooperatives. This morning, in reflection, it is clear that MCC needs to also host “trauma trainings” as they move toward housing the homeless. I hope that when they do, it will be with their members and non-members, I would gladly attend.
Long live healthy/healing and may growth toward positive worker-owned, member-lived cooperatives, continue!
* Un Seule Frere — Willy Street Musical Magic
Daiquiri — storytelling as a way to experiment connecting emotive concepts in a more oral tradition.
Worthless Righteous — Madison’s own hip hop duo!
Thistle and Thorns, Mad Folk served up hot from the east side. Special performance by Kelly Underwood!
Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars, a favorite Madison dance band.
Links to performers’ work:
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