Tapedeck atop a heritage butcher counter inside Reece’s Market — Caledonia, Ohio. Photo Credit: Jess Lamar Reece Holler, for Caledonia Northern Folk Studios. All rights reserved. © Jess Lamar Reece Holler 2021

A Guide to Negotiations & Expectations for Folklife, Oral History, Documentary Arts & Community-Based Cultural Work for Freelance Practitioners

ABSTRACT: Intellectual property is a key concern for independent, freelance, & movement-based cultural workers — including public folklorists, oral historians, documentary artists, & other allied cultural workers — who have to navigate complex relationships between the narrators with whom we co-produce documentary materials (oral history interviews; portrait photography; films, &c.)…

Potluck luncheon buffet at the Kirkpatrick Church of Christ Monthly Potluck — Kirkpatrick, Marion County, Ohio — January 2020. For more, see the MARION VOICES FOLKLIFE + ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM: marionvoices.org. Photo Credit: Jess Lamar Reece Holler, for Marion Voices.

Ideas are fossilized labor — the product of hours, years, decades, of thought, work, experience. How your project handles intellectual property — questions of ownership, rights, usage matters powerfully for the success of your collaboration. Like your budget, your consent forms (and other rights agreements), whether with community participants

Sloppy Joes at the Kirkpatrick Church of Christ Monthly Potluck — Kirkpatrick, Marion County, Ohio — January 2020. For more, see the MARION VOICES FOLKLIFE + ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM: marionvoices.org. Photo Credit: Jess Lamar Reece Holler, for Marion Voices.

The Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History Program has worked, over the past three years, to develop & cultivate a critical model for bringing together economic justice + racial justice organizing in the community-based cultural work sectors. We call this model “equity budgeting.” True to its name, equity budgeting holds that the chief space of praxis & ethics for any community-based cultural work project is its budget.

We’ve been talking about, presenting on, &, most of all, practicing equity budgeting for years now. We keep getting asked what’s been written on equity budgeting: Where does it come from? Who says? Where can I read more so I can figure out if I want to do this; if…

Pistachio Cake at the Kirkpatrick Church of Christ Monthly Potluck — Kirkpatrick, Marion County, Ohio — January 2020. For more, see the MARION VOICES FOLKLIFE + ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM: marionvoices.org. Photo Credit: Jess Lamar Reece Holler, for Marion Voices.

This piece was originally meant as an accessibility supplement to an unpaid, paywalled talk given on October 17th, 2020, at the digital iteration of the American Folklore Society Conference. This work owes so much to the work of BIPOC activists in my community, and the many BIPOC scholars & activists…

JESS LAMAR REECE HOLLER

cultural worker + oral historian who tries to listen. cares alot about justice for working people. columbus x marion county, ohio. caledonianorthern.org.

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