Home-concerts presenter Groupmuse becomes a worker-owned cooperative

Posted on: April 5, 2021

For nearly a decade, “the buzzy classical music startup Groupmuse [has matched] musicians with music lovers … who hosted casual, intimate concerts in backyards and living rooms,” writes A.Z. Madonna in Friday’s (4/2) Boston Globe. “Now … the business is going cooperative.… Groupmuse formed amid the startup boom of the early 2010s. At the time, [founder Sam] Bodkin dreamed of riding the wave of financial success that prosperous startups promised. But … Bodkin said, ‘It quickly became clear that an organization that concentrated profit in the hands of a couple people, like the standard startup paradigm suggests, would not work—and it would feel terrible.’ … Transforming the company into a cooperatively owned venture has been a goal for a few years, Bodkin explained, but the pandemic provided the necessary push…. The company became a worker-owned cooperative in late 2020…. The plan is opening up ownership to active musicians this summer…. A 10-person Musician Founding Council is laying groundwork…. For now, the overarching focus is helping artists recover from the pandemic, which has forced numerous musicians to leave the field or take extended hiatus…. ‘This is the moment where we can bring structural change to the classical music world,’ Bodkin said.”