The Vision is to develop a self-sustaining sanctuary for HIV+ artists. In uncertain economic times creative methods to thrive are called for. Traditionally, artists and craftspeople would gather in guilds to promote their art, protect themselves, train apprentices and in time hope your craft has taken you to a point you can live in some level of comfort for as long as possible without resorting to catfood.
Key ingredients for success include a currently active, for-profit venture to bring in initial apprentices and everyone doubles as farmhands with development of one more more cash crops, in this case hops. While it is labor intensive to get a few acres set up, this becomes a guaranteed income for years to come which go directly to operating expenses of the Farm.
Meanwhile, co-op style living and especially group meals help keep shared costs low. The for-profit business which generates personal income for the initial residents is my own leather workshop, Madison Leathersmith Inc, which is the home of Leatherslings.com. Due to the success of this business I find myself worried about making too much money(!) which has an impact on how I get my meds and see my doctors. I’d rather maintain the status quo even if it means I need to spread income around to more people, who ideally also are more interested in maintaining access to the programs they rely on than climbing into new tax brackets.
Another key to success will be to ensure residents have their own private living space: a full master suite with full bath and a sitting room/office with internet access. Thanks to satellite technology the World Wide Web is as accessible as any dish TV network. Other workshops & studios will be built in as the desire and need arises: aside from the starter leather workshop a woodworking shop will be set up to help continued build-out of facilities. Next up is my old pottery studio and more dumbeks! And a yoga/exercise studio. Also a nice music studio for my electric bass, drum set and whatever else shows up.