Arts Council England has agreed to monitor commitment to fair pay to artists through the NPO application process and NPO funding agreements. This early success provides a strong foundation for what happens next. Paying Artists have been hard at work consulting with galleries and other visual arts organisations on delivering transparency in exhibition policies and practices, as well as preparing toolkits for artists and employers, and presenting the evidence at a wide range of conferences and seminars.
Paying Artists states; “Without artists there is no art. Artists are the innovators from which great art emerges and on which our society’s well-being depends. It is through artists’ ideas, experiments and ingenuity that creative ideas and products are made manifest. Art by its nature presents a wide range of levels of engagement and participation for people and audiences. Artists thrive on such engagement as an essential ingredient to feed what is their continuous, life-time’s dedication to a creative practice. The world is always looking for new ways of seeing. Art practice – the collective performance of art making between materials, artists, artworks, galleries and people – is an inter-disciplinary reflexive process that enables us all to rethink and re-imagine our realities, which creates cultural value. Paying artists is about transforming opportunities for artists, galleries, funders and policy- makers alike. In removing the financial barriers faced by many artists, it will give publicly- funded galleries – and the public themselves – access to quality art which covers the spectrum of human experience. It will bring value to the investment of all who fund the arts by encouraging and enabling diversity and equality of opportunity for all artists now and in the future. In doing so, it will play a direct role in ensuring we retain our reputation here for supporting creative talent and delivering world-class art. Now is the time to demonstrate in the arts how much we value art and value artists. By working together to define and adopt practical steps and frameworks for good practice, we can safeguard and strengthen the symbiotic relationship visual artists have with publicly-funded institutions and with the communities and audiences they collectively serve”.
The Campaign which started in the US and Canada has now spread to Europe with much press attention and success. While the visual arts in the UK are under threat, the success of UK public, private and international galleries that are paying artists fees for their exhibitions is on the increase. In fact, we can do better than just stopping a decline. By 2020, the visual arts can deliver even greater value for the UK; PA added. Download PDF and read more
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