The Neighbourhood Time Exchange is an artist residency model that operates on a simple principle: for every hour an artist spends in their studio, they contribute an hour of volunteer time working with a Community Partner. This residency uses the concept of time banking, in which artists and community members work together for mutual benefit. Community Partners provide ideas, their expertise on the needs of the city, and a context for the artist. Artists provide their vision, their unique perspectives, and their specialized skills.
Designed and curated by Justin Langlois, the Neighbourhood Time Exchange was initially launched in Philadelphia in 2015-16 through Mural Arts Philadelphia and the People’s Emergency Center. In 2016-17, the Neighbourhood Time Exchange opened in Prince George through Downtown Prince George and Emily Carr University of Art & Design’s Living Labs.
The Neighbourhood Time Exchange residency offers a framework through which the often-invisible resources of a neighborhood (the people, the history, and the experience of everyday life) can be understood as highly valuable components in making positive change in a community. By providing clear intersections and negotiations of time between community residents and artists-in-residence, the Neighbourhood Time Exchange aims to cultivate a new dynamic and role for creativity and reciprocity in the revitalization of a neighborhood.
The Neighborhood Time Exchange also aims to explore the challenges of sharing power, decision-making and public trust between community members, artists, and organizations by employing a pragmatic and visible public reciprocity that allows for explicit exchanges of power and resources. Together, artists and community members identify and then aim to undo boundaries denoting sites of art, exchange, and necessary labour to help to animate and enliven the region, providing a platform for social, civic, and economic revitalization.