COLLO and Social Capital

Reflect on a time when you were part of an event (on the Internet) that was trying to establish social capital. Given our class discussion, how do you think that event could’ve been improved or gone better?

As a co-founder of COLLO, a volunteer student organization dedicated to cultivating and facilitating an attitude of growth and collaboration among Stanford student artists, I am constantly trying to leverage the social capital of my networks and those of my fellow Stanford student artists. As the number of people who promotes a work of art increases, the viewership and growth compound exponentially and gives the artist significantly more exposure. This cross-promotion of works from using the Stanford artist community’s unofficial network to find other like-minded students with whom to collaborate. Making art is a process that naturally develops ‘norms of trust and reciprocity’, and therefore increases the social capital of both artists and the network as a whole.

There are many hindrances to the development of social capital among Stanford artists, namely, a lack of communal arts spaces, a lack of cross-disciplinary events, and a university culture that doesn’t necessarily value that arts highly, and is hyper entrepreneurial to the point where many artists see themselves as islands, forced to do everything themselves without the help of collaborators. These points are where COLLO seeks to jump in, providing Town Hall meetings about the arts at school, providing artist spotlights to showcase the fruits of students’ labor, and facilitating jam sessions and skill-share/workshops. These events are steps in the right direction, but there are many other things that still need to be done to remedy these issues. Overall we’d like to continue to develop a more collectivist mentality among artists and increase the number of volunteers to help out to get more people involved in the movement.