1) You offer to teach a class about something you know.
2) You decide on a list of barter items you're interested in receiving. Barter items can be in the form of goods or services, both tangible and intangible.
3) Students sign up for your class by agreeing to offer something from your list. If a student has something unique to offer not on your list, they can contact you to see if you’re interested.
Anyone can teach a class, and anyone can sign up to attend. Class topics vary from knitting to chinese medicine to resume writing to cooking.
Classes are for adults and are single-session subjects that last 90 minutes. We schedule longer classes or several sessions if it makes sense for the subject.
We host classes inside of Rabble Coffee on the Eastside. Classes happen Monday-Saturday with the exception of Thursdays from 6:30-8 PM and Sunday from 3:30-5 PM.
Bartering allows us to form meaningful relationships while engaging with the creative landscape. Everyone has something unique to offer that is common to them.
We ensure that barter lists are accessible and allow students to be creative. Each class has a mix of options to choose from so that everyone can attend.
Maybe you have a surplus of produce from your garden or maybe you’re a yoga teacher. Make an offer to any teacher by choosing "something else you'd like to offer" when you register. Just because an item isn’t on the teacher’s list doesn’t mean they won't value it.
Any subject is welcome as long as you can teach it in an informal and social environment. To get started teaching, go here.
Trade School became a member-organized cooperative in 2015. A cooperative is an autonomous group of people united to meet their common needs. There is no paid staff at Trade School, only incredible people who support one another. If you want to see Trade School stay open, please become a member and get involved.
Trade School began January of 2009 as an experiment by a group of New York City artists who built OurGoods. They received an opportunity to work with a storefront, and came up with barter for knowledge. Over the course of 35 days, more than 800 people participated in 76 single session classes. Classes ranged from scrabble strategy to composting, from grant writing to ghost hunting. In exchange for instruction, teachers received running shoes to mixed CDs to flowers. In 2012, they built an open-source web platform to share with interested local organizers. The movement spread to places like London, Paris, Singapore, and...Indianapolis!
Blaire Huntley and Brittany West opened the Indianapolis Trade School September of 2012. Blaire moved back home to North Carolina early 2014. Brittany organized on her own for 2014 and developed the cooperative-membership model in 2015. She has since moved into an international organizing role for Trade School.
Today, a collective of members who want to see Trade School Indy stay open organize the project.