Artists and The Solidarity Economy:
Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard of in Conversation

For nearly 150 years The Art Students League of New York has helped to revolutionize what it means to attend an “art school”. But the art world, and the world itself, is bigger than our landmark building on 57th Street, and there are more artists who deserve support then we can serve.


In this conversation with Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard of, we’ll hear how today’s artists work together to build communities and economies that resist marginalization and foster collective action. The League once helped change inequitable “art school” norms by allowing women to study with the same live, nude models that male students did. Today, asks “What would ‘art school’ look like if it embraced BIPOC cultural workers and students?” Join us, to hear about how this vital organization fights to create a more equitable art world, with a mission that’s independent of, but in spirit with The League’s philosophy of “by artists for artists”.


Nati Linares grew up on the island of Shaolin, also known as Staten Island, New York City — close to both the world’s largest garbage dump and the oldest continuously inhabited free Black community in the United States. She’s the child of Cuban and Colombian immigrants who landed in Queens in the late 1960s, benefited from low-cost public college and raised her with a love of learning, exploration and music. As a mami, she strives to raise a son who can resist the patriarchy to become a full human being and embrace life’s contradictions. She comes to the solidarity economy movement after a decade witnessing inequities in the music and media industry while working with diasporic and misrepresented artists. Nati tells the stories of people resisting Capitalism and building new systems, especially those creating a culture of revolution.



Caroline Woolard is the Director of Research and Programs at Open Collective Foundation, and an Assistant Professor at Pratt. Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, Woolard has catalyzed barter communities, minted local currencies, founded an arts-policy think tank, and created sculptural interventions in office spaces. Woolard is the co-author of three books: Making and Being (Pioneer Works, 2019), a book for educators about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda; Art, Engagement, Economy (onomatopee, 2020) a book about managing socially-engaged and public art projects; and TRADE SCHOOL: 2009-2019, a book about peer learning that Woolard catalyzed in thirty cities internationally over a decade. Woolard’s work has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS.



Click here to view our Press Release.

Stay connected