On September 18th 2012, W.A.G.E. presented on its work and took part in an open meeting with the Scottish Artists Union
, the community, the organizers of the event, artists Charlotte Prodger and Corin Sworn, and the amazing Transmission Gallery
. The meeting focused on the (non) payment of artist fees, and how to regulate the problem in the context of Creative Scotland
, the primary funder of artists and non-profit arts organizations.
Some background: about a decade ago, when the Scottish Government determined that the existing national arts development organization, the Scottish Arts Council, was no longer serving the needs of the country—particularly in light of the emergence of the creative industries as a major economic driver—they initiated a Cultural Commission in 2005 that resulted in the establishment of Creative Scotland in early 2011.
This new body is focused on using the arts to generate economic growth and has made the demonstration of its impact a contingency of funding. The content of funded projects is increasingly regulated while the economic stability of cultural producers is left to the discretion of exhibitors who themselves have fallen victim to reduced funding.
In response, the Union has launched a campaign to assert the importance of supporting the grassroots and putting in place some basics that will make a difference to all cultural producers, including making contracts, rates of pay and exhibition fees mandatory conditions of grants.
A proposal was made by the SAU executive committee to approach Creative Scotland with a set of demands laid out in a petition. Neoliberalism isn't just a European condition: sign this