Email re. Artists’ Union England
Hope you are well.
I thought you’d be interested to see that artists in England are about to launch the Artists’ Union England (see below) a trades union for artists across England, some 13-14 years after the formation (of which I’m proud to have played a part, and to still be an Associate member – I quite rightly cannot vote) of the Scottish Artists’ Union www.sau.org.uk.
They said no-one would join an artists’ Union in Scotland – and made jibes about what a strike by artists would look like – and it now has over 1,000 members. It has never taken money from Scottish Arts Council or Creative Scotland, because to do so might’ve compromised its mission, and survives and thrives on members subscriptions alone, providing real benefits like affordable insurance to its members as well as now being an essential voice in the discussion of culture in Scotland.
An example of the citizen action you highlighted again today. Trades unions have been with us a long time, and are much maligned in popular conscience since the 1970s but here’s a great example of how isolated and sometimes disempowered individuals can come together and create a collective voice and joint action.
So, we wish English artists’ well as they embark on their own journey to representation.
David Cook BA MSc FRICS HonFRIAS
Chief Executive, Wasps Artists’ Studios
Director, Wasps Creative Industries CIC
For the press release see http://www.senscot.net/docs/artistunionengland.pdf