Saturday, November 3, 2012

“Calgary Artist in Residence collecting co-op stories,”

Co-op living is not just a financial arrangement, reports Jenn Prosser on progressive Canadian news site,  “Long time participants,” she writes, “identify with the idea of community living.”
The excellent article, “Calgary Artist in Residence collecting co-op stories,” relates writer/musician Brian Brennan’s findings. Cultural organization Calgary 2012 asked Brennan to tackle the project because the United Nations has designated 2012 as International Year of the Co-op.  Brennan is Artist in Residence for the Southern Alberta Co-operative Housing Association. The article immediately raised three questions for me.

  1. Really? You mean we’re near the end of the International Year of the Co-op and nobody told me? I wonder how many parades, galas, red carpet events and other public celebrations I missed.
  2. How does one get to be an artist-in-residence for a co-op?
  3. I wrote a novel (Out Of Order) about murders in a Brooklyn co-op (if you can imagine such a thing). Is there any way I can take part in the International Year of the Co-op festivities, or do I have to wait for the next International Year of the Co-op? 
Not all questions deserve to be answered …so back to the article.
One lovely story Brennan collected was about playtime.
". . . because of our involvement in co-ops,” one interviewee said, “our kids didn't play school or store they played co-op meetings. They would write the agenda, pack up bags, go to meetings. . ."
What a splendid idea! Let’s all play co-op

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