Why buy when you can barter?

December 6, 2006

I’ve beens spending time with artists over the last few weeks and one of the conversations we’ve been having concerns skills deficits – particularly in the practice management area. So may artists I meet have an anxiety about managing money, others don’t want to involve themselves in administration because they feel they don’t have the skills and others would love to buy in professional administration support but can’t afford it. But why buy when you can barter? Many colleagues of mine regularly barter or trade their skills with other professionals and it can be really liberating to take money out of the equation and place a value on the work for its own sake. I’ve recently worked for a colleague on an assignment he is engaged in and some time in the future I’m sure I’ll call on his skills. I know arts administrators who will trade their professional skills for work from artists who are interested in working with them – in the latter case neither may be in a position to afford the creative output of the other.
I’d love more opportunities to barter instead of buy – I wonder how many of you have created those kinds of relationships?

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  1. There are many ways to trade and hundreds of trade exchanges in the U.S. and worldwide that can provide products and services for you. A site that has thousands of articles (FREE) and a weekly newsletter, plus a list of all 800 barter companies worldwide is http://www.barternews.com

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