Kunal Gupta: Withfriends
Kunal Gupta speaks about Withfriends, a membership tool to preserve a city’s cultural spaces by helping art galleries, barbershops, bars, music venues, and event organizers run membership programs that are simple and effective. Withfriends is a Y Combinator-funded startup that has generated over $400k+ in membership revenue for 80 organizers in the past year. Gupta will discuss Withfriends, and talk about how it grew out of the circumstances that DIY and community spaces are facing across the country.
Kunal Gupta is a experimental musician, software engineer, and entrepreneur who works to build and sustain alternative communities for experimental art. Gupta is co/founder of Babycastles, a New York City based collective and video game art gallery dedicated to fostering and amplifying diverse voices in videogame culture, and Silent Barn, a collectively run art space that was a fixture of New York’s alternative and DIY arts communities for more than a decade.
Gupta’s new project, Withfriends, is a membership tool to preserve a city’s cultural spaces by helping art galleries, music venues, and event organizers run membership programs that are simple and effective. In this talk, Gupta will draw on these projects as well recent conversations with mayors and organizers around the world to discuss how alternative arts communities organize and sustain themselves outside of mainstream business models and in the face of escalating rent prices.
This event is part of Digital Alchemy, a year-long programming initiative focusing on artists who explore the fringes of science and engineering. These artists transform, interpret, and otherwise bring life to inanimate digital systems in ways that can seem mysterious, mystical, and inscrutable. Digital Alchemy will culminate in a festival in Fall 2019, presented by Indexical in Santa Cruz.