Art Worker Inquiry
Building Worker Organizing in the Arts Industry
Name
Your answer
Email
Your answer
YOUR WORK AS AN ARTIST
The following questions are related to: 1. Any work you do that's in the arts industry (from direct art creation to administrative/clerical/service work at arts organization). 2. Any work that you do so that you can survive as an artist (day jobs). For all questions in this section, please give multiple responses if you perform multiple types of labor in relation the arts or your artistic practice.
What is your medium/trade? (Please list both work in the arts and day jobs that support an artistic practice.)
1 point
Your answer
Do you perform your labor on a freelance basis, or are you formally employed? (Again, please answer for any and all labor you do that's related to the arts or in support of your artistic practice.)
Your answer
If your employment is formal/official, what type of employer do you work for? (Nonprofit, corporate, private, public, etc). If your employment is freelance/contract basis, what types of employers do you typically work for?
Your answer
How many other workers are employed where you work? Feel free to estimate.
Your answer
How many supervisors do you report to in your work?
Your answer
How is your work schedule established? In other words, does a supervisor set working hours and timelines, or do you determine those individually?
Your answer
How far do you live from the place(s) where you most often work?
Your answer
Is your labor performed largely individually, or do you work collaboratively? Are you given a choice about whether/with whom you collaborate on your labors? If so, describe this process. If not, who decides on your collaborators?
Your answer
Do you have an agent, manager, gallerist, or other formal representative for your labor? If so, are they helpful? If not, why not?
Your answer
How many hours would you say you spend weekly on your labor? How many hours would you like to spend or you feel you need to spend on your labor? If you have a day job separate from your artistic practice, what's the ratio between time spend on your day job and time on your artistic labor? What would you like that ratio to be?
Your answer
For workers with a day job that supports their artistic practice, how does your day job affect that practice? What is the relationship between your art work and your day job? Are you seen as an artist at your day job?
Your answer
What kinds of compromises have you made in the search for employment?
Your answer
Do you tend to work more during the day or at night? Is this by choice or necessity?
Your answer
If you had the power to change the nature of your work (in the arts or otherwise), what would you change about it? Be as bold and visionary as you like!
Your answer
COMPENSATION
In this section, please respond in relation to any labor you perform in the arts industry or apart from it.
How is your rate of compensation determined? (For example, are you a member of a union or guild that negotiates wages and benefits, or do you bargain with your employers individually? Are you paid hourly or per completed piece/project?)
Your answer
Have you ever had an employer violate a compensation agreement, either by delaying payment or refusing to pay you for your labor? If so, please describe.
Your answer
If an employer violates an agreement or contract with you, what recourse (legal or otherwise) do you have?
Your answer
Have you ever performed artistic labor for a gatekeeper, employer, or supervisor for which you have not been compensated? Have you ever been offered professional exposure or industry connections as compensation for your labor? If so, did you accept? How did the exposure or industry connections as compensation materialize?
Your answer
List the expenses you have related to your work (materials, instruments, insurance, etc.) Do you pay for space and/or tools with which to perform your labor, or are these provided by an employer?
Your answer
WORK SPACE
If you work at home, describe the conditions of your work room. Do you use only working tools or small machines? Do you have a separate work space, or do you work in your living/sleeping/eating area?
Your answer
How would you describe the rooms/spaces/ facilities in which you work? Are they hygienic? Adequately lit? Be as specific as you'd like!
Your answer
Performers - Do you practice and rehearse at home or elsewhere? Do you rent rehearsal space on a regular basis? Visual/studio artists - Do you keep a studio at home or elsewhere? Do you rent studio space on a regular basis?
Your answer
Are you able to obtain adequate studio, rehearsal and performance spaces? How much do they cost? Where does the money to pay for them come from?
Your answer
GENDER, RACE, POWER
How would you describe the gender composition of your artistic workplace(s)?
Your answer
How would you describe the racial/ethnic composition of your artistic workplace(s)?
Your answer
What would you say is the relationship between gender and power in your artistic workplace(s)?
Your answer
What would you say is the relationship between race/ethnicity and power in your artistic workplace(s)?
Your answer
What would you say is the relationship between age and power in your artistic workplace(s)?
Your answer
Who are the "gatekeepers" -- people who decide whether an artistic project will be funded -- in your field of artistic labor?
Your answer
Please describe the demographics of the gatekeepers, as you perceive them, in your field of artistic labor. (Feel free to focus on gender, race, and age, as well as other demographic factors.)
Your answer
Have you ever performed artistic labor for a gatekeeper, employer, or supervisor for which you have not been compensated? If so, did you expect to be compensated when you began these labors?
Your answer
Who funds your creative endeavors? Are you comfortable with taking money from capitalist oppressors? Are you or your employers complicit in global warming?
Your answer
Are you ever culpable in exploiting other workers? If so, what pressures or incentives drew you to this situation?
Your answer
UNION
Are you in an union?
Your answer
Do you think your union is effective in helping you obtain your economic well-being? Is it effective in helping you obtain your creative goals?
Your answer
How many strikes have taken place in your field that you are aware of? Have you ever participated in strikes or boycotts for your own benefit?
Your answer
Were strikes in your field ever supported by strikes of workers belonging to other trades? How long did these strikes last?
Your answer
Were they for the object of increasing wages, or were they organized to resist a reduction of wages, or connected with the length of the working day, or prompted by other motives?
Your answer
If you could build an organization that supported workers (in the arts or otherwise), what do you think that organization's top priorities should be? How might such an organization use its power? Be as bold and visionary as you like!
Your answer
HEALTH
Are there any health and safety concerns in your artistic workplace(s)?
Your answer
Do you have adequate health insurance?
Your answer
Are you able to take adequate care of your health? Do you rely on non-traditional healthcare which is not compensated by health insurance companies?
Your answer
EDUCATION
Do you have access to training/educational opportunities that you feel would help your artistic labors?
Your answer
What is your highest level of education? Do you have a college degree? In what? Where and when did you go to college?
Your answer
If you went to college, was it a valuable experience for you? Are you in debt because of your college education? How much money do you owe?
Your answer
LIVING EXPENSES
Do you have a weekly and yearly budget of your income and expenditure for self and family? Have you noticed, in your personal experience, a bigger rise in the price of immediate necessities, e.g., rent, food, etc., than in your income?
Your answer
How much money do you have left after paying for your necessities? Are there items that you need that you can’t afford?
Your answer
How much of your income goes to paying off debt?
Your answer
Do you have money for an emergency? Have you ever had to rely on food stamps or any other social welfare programs?
Your answer
DOMESTIC WORK
Who lives with you? Who does the cleaning and cooking in your home? Who takes care of the kids? How is the domestic work shared in your household?
Your answer
How much do you spend on cleaning, cooking and other housework help? Do you hire someone to help you with household duties?
Your answer
CHILDREN
Do you have children? How many, how old?
Your answer
Are you able to participate in school decisions that affect your children and your community?Are you able to participate in your child’s education and activities to the extent that you would like? Are you able to save money for your child’s future education?
Your answer
Have you benefited from the NY Paid Family Leave Act? How?
Your answer
Who takes care of your children when they’re not in school and you’re working, either on your art project or at your secondary job? Do you get compensation for childcare?
Your answer
NEW YORK CITY/HOUSING
Do you live in New York City? If so, how long have you lived in New York City? If not, where do you live?
Your answer
Do you own or rent? What percentage of the money you earn is spent on housing?
Your answer
What is your experience of finding a place to live? Do you like where you live? What do you like about your neighborhood? Dislike? Are there adequate and affordable places to shop for food and other necessities in your neighborhood?How much input do you have about what happens to your neighborhood?
Your answer
How many times have you moved in the last 10 years? Why have you moved?
Your answer
Has gentrification of the city affected your ability to live and work? If so, how?
Your answer
Do you feel responsible for gentrification in New York City?
Your answer
If you could change the way housing works in New York, how would you change it? Be as bold and visionary in your proposals as you like!
Your answer
BEING AN ARTIST
What would a sustainable life as an artist look like? How would it be different than your life now?
Your answer
How can artists organize collectively against exploitation?
Your answer
What structures do you imagine would be needed for effective organizing?
Your answer
Do you feel solidarity with other workers?
Your answer
Are you involved in any campaigns focused on fighting exploitation or building power for workers in the arts? If so, please describe.
Your answer
OTHER COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR WORK AS AN ARTIST OR LIFE IN NYC
Your answer
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