Why A COOPERATIVE?

As a cooperative, we intentionally and deliberately choose the community we want to benefit – our artists, Dorchester, and the Greater Boston community. We are a for-profit that can make money through providing services; this allows us to spend most of our time on what we are passionate about – the arts. Members of the cooperative benefit directly, whether an Artist Member, a Community Partner Member, or an Investor Member. The more a member uses the cooperative, the better for the particular member and for all other members. Each member’s contribution is measured by how much the member uses the cooperative. We call this “patronage”. If the cooperative makes a profit in a particular year, each member will receive a patronage dividend; this is essentially profit-sharing or a refund that you receive for using the cooperative’s services. The more the member contributes to and uses the cooperative, the bigger the dividend.

IPAC is the first performing and visual arts cooperative in the area of its kind. 
Please take a moment to read the 7 cooperative principles which are guidelines by which cooperatives put their values into practice-maybe you see yourself here?

1. Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

3. Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5. Education, Training, and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6. Cooperation among Cooperatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community

Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.