Monday, November 7, 2011

The Arts & Labor Working Group

Hi all -

I've been meaning to revive this blog, albeit briefly, to tell you a bit about some of the exciting (I think) new developments unfolding with the Arts & Labor working group, which I thought might pique your interest. The group emerged out of conversations between members of the Arts and Culture working group, as well as an extended group of artists, critics, curators, receptionists, interns, art-handlers, and other art workers. (More on this in a bit; the group clearly needs some arts and culture related diversity!) This message is intended to serve as an introduction and an invitation. Please feel free to pass this on to those you know who may be interested is this discussion.

Disclaimer: While we are affiliated with Occupy Wall Street many of our ideas and plans are long range and will not be bound by the time-frame of the physical occupation of Zuccotti Park.

Arts & Labor is a working group founded in conjunction with the New
York General Assembly for #occupywallstreet. We are dedicated to exposing and rectifying economic inequalities and exploitative working conditions within the arts and culture industries through direct action and educational initiatives. By forging coalitions, fighting for fair labor practices, and re-imagining the structures we work within, Arts & Labor aims to build solidarity among art workers and achieve parity for every member of the 99%.

Here is a link to a text from six months ago written by a member of
the working group:

Here are the minutes from our last meeting:

Here is a link for the Google group started by members of Arts and

Our meetings are on Tuesdays at 7:30 at the 60 Wall Street atrium.

Our aim is to address both immediate labor concerns as well as larger issues pertaining to culture and the economy. Please don't hesitate to come to our meeting tomorrow if you'd be interested in sharing some of your experiences and helping us brainstorm ways to approach the issues raised in our statement. I'd love to see some of your there. In particular, I'd love to see some of you who are arts affiliated but who are NOT visual studio artists. Arts & Labor is a self-selecting group, meaning it has thus far attracted a very high proportion of studio artists, one or two admins, a writer, and a revolving cast of filmmakers. The arts is so much more than the visual arts, and I think it would be fruitful for the discussion to include a greater diversity of voices. If you are a performer, a writer, a tech person, an intern, an admin, a curator, a filmmaker, a television maker, a designer, a musician, a dancer, or yes, even a visual artist, I encourage you to come to our meeting tomorrow night at 60 Wall Street and/or participate in the online dialogue. Get ready for some invigorating discourse.

- Kirsten