Need more money? Turn your bedroom into an art gallery

Over the past few months, as the economic outlook has grown increasingly gloomy, various pundits, commentators and all-purpose wing nuts (including yours truly) have offered tips to help the average person weather the financial downturn. We've given suggestions for lowering bills, saving money on food, increasing equity, decreasing fees, and various other mainstream methods for reducing your fiscal burden.

While many of these suggestions have been intelligent, useful, and well-thought-out, they generally aren't all that inspiring. Every so often, however, a wild, off-the-wall solution comes along and shows how a little bit of creativity can shore up one's finances and improve one's community.

A perfect example of this is Blanka Amezkua, an artist in New York City. Noticing the lack of art venues in her area and eager to increase her neighborhood's sense of community, she decided to turn her bedroom into an alternative art space. Christening it "The Bronx Blue Bedroom Project," or BBBP, she began inviting a variety of artists to create art installations in the room, which she subsequently opened to artists and art lovers in her neighborhood. While Blanka doesn't charge for these showings, she and Laura Napier, another artist who lives in her building, also host art sales. These, in turn, help her market her own work while continuing to generate interest in the local art scene.