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Our Story

Garage Gang is an organization that has come a long way from apartment art exhibitions to innovative models of funding of social initiatives.

Garage Gang has six years of experiments in civic activism, public space and online media under its belt. We founded Garage Gang in 2008. It was the time when Ukraine and the world suffered from the recession. In November, the G20 leaders met to shape the world's destiny without the representatives of other countries. We decided to protest against the traditional economy and capitalism. The protest lasted just for one day. The next day we took action.

First of all, we launched the online platform Big Idea which accumulated ideas about reinvention of social relationships from creative classes and activist groups. We explored the concept of 'ideas' as potential precursors of actions and, eventually, social changes. In search of innovative ideas of urban development, we started a program of city interventions involving different stakeholders. We organized communication platforms on city squares. In 2010 we made a tour around Ukrainian cities and covered over 10,000 km; in 2012 we travelled around Crimean villages.

Meanwhile, Big Idea was exploring new facets of responsible journalism by suggesting Ukrainian media to cover not only politics and corruption scandals, but also young Ukrainian entrepreneurs, innovators and cultural activists.

We cooperated with city and village communities, realizing that social transformations are rooted in collective action and interaction. At the same time, we explored alternative economic instruments such as SundayBorsch that allowed communities to finance their projects on their own.

These attempts resulted in the launch of Spilnokosht, the online crowdfunding mechanism on Big Idea. Spilnokosht focused not on abstract ideas of saving the world, but on specific social innovation projects. Over two years of its existence, 10,000 benefactors have put more than 2,500,000 UAH into the initiatives of their fellow citizens.

Today, in spite of new financial and social challenges, we keep searching for new unconventional forms of economic interactions, social design and personal development.

Spilnokosht aims to penetrate into the regions of Ukraine and embrace new sectors, such as social business, energy-related inventions and programs of urban development. And Garage Gang plans to take the form of responsible enterprise in order to be an independent and vigorous agent of new social transformations.

Our Team

Vita Bazan
Coordinator of the program "Kod Mista"
Sasha Smetanenko
Creative Director
Iuliia Vorobiova
Coordinator of Big Idea
Yulia Sobol
Program coordinator, business cooperation
Anna Pykhtina
SMM and communication manager
Maryna Radynska
PR manager
Iryna Solovey
Managing partner, strategist
Anastasiia Parafeniuk
Coordinator of the program "Kod Mista"
Olga Logvinovskaya
Editor, moderator for the project "Spilnokosht"
IIrina Rudko
Natasha Panchenko
Project coordinator assistant
Kateryna Efremova
Manager of Spilnokosht projects

People who have worked with us
and influenced our projects

Artists Alevtyna Kakhidze, Alina Kopytsia, Iryna Ozarynska; journalist Katya Sergatskova; designers Vasyl Kostenko, Artem Kriepkyi, Oleksandr Bychenko, Anton Abo, Ross Sokolovskyi, Yurii Oparenko; art collective VAL; joiner Mykola Stepanets; architect Ira Biletska; coder and translator Anton Ivanov; marketing expert Halyna Kascheieva; art critic Roman Petruniak from Incubate Chicago; Leonid Kanter and Diana Karpenko-Kanter from Obyrok Art Island;

photographers Andres Gonzalez, Sigal Ben David, Jan Odi, Benoit Paillé, Hanna Hrabarska, Kostiantyn Strilets; writers Lubko Deresh, Sofia Andrukhovych, Irena Karpa, Tricia Warden; craftswoman Masha Kosmonavtivna; musicians from Melting Clouds, Nameless, BadBoysGirlfriend, Herb Diamante, Strukturator, Annie Brie; cultural managers Tetiana Smriga, Maria Honchar, Olena and Max Afanasievy from Totem, Anastasia Zhyvkova, Ira Nikolenko, Dasha Stokoz.

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