Everyone deserves social and economic protections
Welcome to the Sol Center for Liberated Work, where we collaborate across diverse communities to radically reimagine work and social protections for all. We are in the early days of building our path, which will surely be improved by your willingness to share your vision alongside us.
Still, a few things are already clear.
- First, we are committed to making sure all means ALL, by building social protections that cover all workers, regardless of their employment status. Your job should not determine your safety net. Full stop.
- Second, we are committed to building a multi-racial, multi-sectoral effort that centers and solves for those historically harmed by and excluded from existing systems of support, beginning with BIPOC, disabled, and immigrant workers from across sectors. Our long-standing mission to support arts workers and culture bearers gives us the unique opportunity to build unconventional collaborations with movement groups who are committed to building alternative labor and economic systems.
- Third, we are committed to advancing solutions that shift power to workers and their communities, trusting that folks experiencing challenges actually know how to solve them, given the resources and authority to do so. For people of color in particular, building community power–ownership power, economic power, governance power, and political power–is a crucial precondition to preserving cultural identities, making diverse artistic and cultural expressions possible, while enabling those communities to thrive.
What is Liberated Work?
For us, liberated work is about self-determination. It’s about co-creating a world where the jobs we do to earn money do not dictate everything else about our lives–our benefits, our security, our time to rest, or our possibilities for the future.
Liberated work includes our labor to pay our bills, but it is so much more. It is the work we do individually to care for our families, participate in our communities, and contribute artistically and culturally to a thriving economy.
It is also the work we do together–in organizations and communities–to build new systems that unlock the benefits of a diverse society, drive innovation, narrow wealth and opportunity gaps, enable civic and political participation, and protect the planet.
But this is our burgeoning vision. What does your dream of liberated work include?
We advocate for social and economic protections for all, while building infrastructure to shift power to workers, collectives, and communities. To do this, we use all the tools available to us, including research, policy, advocacy, our forthcoming 501c(4), coalition building, grantmaking, investments, and incubating entrepreneurial solutions.
We build bridges. The journey to liberated work is a collective one. That’s why we support, amplify, and help direct resources to efforts across sectors that advance our shared vision of protections for all. We also help arts workers–individually and in groups–join and support those efforts, as well as access the resources and information they need to advocate effectively for social and economic protections.
We shift power. We seek to bring the voices of excluded workers–for example domestic workers, farm workers, creative workers, and informal workers, among others–to the center of policy debates, to shape and win new systems of protection rooted in their lived experiences and priorities. We also look for opportunities to build and support diverse coalitions across sectors of that give these workers power, ownership, and leverage to win protections for all.
We seed new models. We incubate and build support for new models–both public and private–of social and economic protection. In particular, we look for “slippery slope” opportunities to advance protections for all, centering the most marginalized workers so as not to replicate today’s inequities. We prioritize solutions that will help our core constituency of arts workers alongside those in the broader gig economy who share their precarious working conditions.
The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) was founded in 2001 as a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, though CCI staff now work remotely across the United States. Our mission is to promote knowledge sharing, networking, and financial independence for individuals in the arts by providing business training, grants, and incubating innovative projects that create new program knowledge, tools and practices for artists in the field, and conditions that contribute to realizing financial self determination.
As a program of CCI, the Sol Center for Liberated Work builds on CCI’s strong track record of issuing critical research in the arts sectors, reports such as Arts Workers in California (2021) and Creativity Connects (2016). We also build upon and learn from CCI’s AmbitioUS initiative, a strategic, 10-year investment program aimed at increasing economic self-determination for BIPOC cultural communities and their artists.
CCI is rooted in the arts and the needs of arts workers. We recognize our responsibility to attend both to the immediate needs of arts workers and shape systems that underpin precarious conditions for all gig workers. The challenging financial conditions and discriminatory hurdles artists face are not limited to the arts, entertainment, or creative sectors. Only by working in common cause across sectors on systemic and structural solutions will CCI realize its mission to serve arts workers.
Sol Center Team
President & CEOAngie Kim
Director, Sol Center for Liberated WorkAlthea Erickson
Program AssociateJennelyn Bailon
Narrative ShifterNichole Christian
Contractor, Principal, Kollective MobileSian Morson Contractor, Principal, Kollective Mobile
We are super appreciative of our founding supporter, alongside CCI’s other funders whose general operating support made this effort possible.
Center for Cultural Innovation
CCI supports individuals in the arts—artists, culture bearers, and creative entrepreneurs—to realize greater self-determination so as to unfetter their productivity, free expression, and social impact, which contributes to shaping our collective national identity in ways that reflect the diversity of society.Learn More