Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How Can the Austin Scenic Coop Generate Revenue?

Last month we moved a lot of heavy stuff. This month we crunched numbers. I’m better at moving heavy stuff. Nonetheless, Brad Carlin and I worked out an approximation of monthly/annual operating costs and identified the Coop’s (the Austin Scenic Coop, collaboration by Salvage Vanguard and Rude Mechs) means of generating sufficient revenue to meet those costs. A structure for membership, fees, expenses, etc. was laid out according to a roughly 50/50 split between earned and unearned revenue, and levels of membership were established. The groups who have already declared their interest in Coop membership were sorted into categories as partners, members, and users, and we set goals for the number of each in the next year. Lastly we finalized the plan for the pilot program which constitutes the second phase of the proposal and set a short term to-do list geared toward launching the pilot program in the late summer.

On a personal note, it has been very interesting and gratifying to ”take apart” and analyze a project that originated very organically, as a labor of love and also as a common sense measure to make theater less wasteful, cheaper, and more convenient all at once. Looking at the component parts of the operation, and identifying exactly what goes into making it work, has given me a chance to appreciate how much it is possible to do almost without noticing, when you are working at something you believe in. The Coop has already served several groups as a valuable resource, and as we work out the details of its enlargement, it is exciting to think how many more it will be able to serve.

--Connor Hopkins, Austin Scenic Coop / Rude Mechs / Trouble Puppet Theater Company

1 comment:

  1. Connor, we had discussions about creating a similar co-op idea for Phoenix in our last sustainability summit.

    I am curious to know if the facility that will house the Austin co-op is already a part of your operations or if it would be an addition to the overhead of the company.