The Art of Local Currency: Keeping Small Beautiful

BY Paul Solman  September 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM EDT

The regional “BerkShare” currency helps support local artists. Watch the full Making Sen$e segment on BerkShares, which aired on the NewsHour Thursday. Photo courtesy of NewsHour

In Thursday’s Making Sen$e segment, Paul Solman visits Berkshire County, Massachusetts, to explore the region’s local paper currency: “BerkShares.” Learn more about the evolution of the currency and its reach in this transcript of Paul’s conversation with Alice Maggio, the local currency program director at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, named for the British economist E.F. Schumacher, who wrote the 20th century classic about acting locally, “Small Is Beautiful.”

For a closer look at how producers and consumers use BerkShares, Paul visited graphic artists Aurel and Molly de St Andre of Moho Designs in their Great Barrington workshop. So just how important is the local currency to this artistic couple? “We came here because of the BerkShares,” says Aurel. “That is the trick.” Indeed small is beautiful, they suggest, because it’s the local customers — using BerkShares — who allow Moho Designs to survive. Watch Paul’s interview with them below.


Paul Solman speaks with graphic artists Aurel and Molly de St Andre about how their business uses and benefits from BerkShares.


This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown — NewsHour’s blog of news and insight.