Collective Pricing Model


Our Pricing Philosophy Is Collective

A fundamental conviction we hold at Third Coast is that everyone should not only have the opportunity to access our programming, but should feel actively invited into it. In this era of Third Coast, our goal is to break down previously existing barriers to entry within our own programming, and ask the industry to join us in that action. A core tenet of this philosophy of change is taking on a particularly pernicious barrier: financial access. To combat that within our own programming, we launched our own framework for cost distribution, which we call Collective Pricing.


What Does This Look Like In Practice?

For every program we host, we ask the members of our community to determine their own entry rates by a number of factors, including: the individual resources they have at their disposal, any institutional support available to them, their geographically-based economic limitations, the value of the program in their professional life, and more. Understanding the precarity of our world, we continue to invite each member of our community to determine what they can afford, and what they can afford to give, in that moment.

Over the years, our approach has evolved through feedback from our community, and it will continue to evolve. Learn more about some of our past approaches below.

2019: First Steps

In 2019, inspired by our peers in the arts, we introduced our first robustfinancial accessibility initiative at Third Coast: the Travel Stipends Initiative, which awarded over 40 attendees of our Third Coast Conference up to $500 to offset transportation, lodging, and food costs related to attending. A large portion of this effort was fuelled by donations from our audience who recognized how access had benefitted them in their careers, and who wanted to pay it forward. This outpouring was a breakthrough moment in many ways for our small non-profit, and marked a radical shift in how we consider access on an institutional level.

2020: Going Virtual

We took our programming virtual in 2020, and began to sculpt our programming around meeting the urgent needs of our artistic communities during the pandemic. Inspired by the principles and practices of mutual aid, we introduced our first articulation of the Collective Pricing Model during Third Place, that year’s virtual convening. We saw this initial rendering as a call-to-action to our attendees — and to the wider industry — to honor the resources they had access to at that moment, and to think deeply about how much they were able to offer in the context of other folks in the industry. This initiative asked each person to consider themselves part of a larger community and asked participants to be part of a movement to show up equitably, together. Concretely, this pay-what-you-can model ($25-$495) gave producers access to everything our virtual Third Place world had to offer.

2021: The Start of Experimentation

For the past few years, we have continued to build custom collective pricing models into each of our programs that are community conscious, responsive, and seek to honor the resources that each of our attendees has right now.

We ask that folks determine their own pricing by a number of factors, including: individual resources they have at their disposal, institutional support available, their geographically-based economic limitations, and more. In other words, we want the starting place to be: What support do you have, and what support are you able to provide others in the Third Coast community?