Summer Session #3 Aug 10: Discussion + Potluck!

Hope you can join us this Sunday for our third session. This week we’ll be visiting two radical activist spaces in Brooklyn. First 4-6pm @ The Base, followed by a potluck  at 7pm @ Woodbine 1882 garden.

More info here:
http://artsandlabor.org/alternative-economies/alternative-to-what/imagining-future-models-alternative-to-what-session-3

Alternative Economies Working Group Summer Sessions Continue July 20

What do we mean by Alternative Art Economies? And what are we looking to find an alternative to?

Art Worker Formations: Unions, Guilds, & Cooperatives Summer

Session #2: Sunday, July 20th, 2014
5:00-7:00pm – Washington Square Park, at West 4th St. and Washington Square East (find us on the grass southeast of the fountain) *Rain location at Think Coffee, 248 Mercer St.

In this second session of Alternative Economie’s (a working group of Arts & Labor) summer series, we will discuss the history of Art Worker Formations (Unions, Guilds & Cooperatives), discuss labor in the culture industry – including past and present collectivization, and consider the common needs of an art worker in the United States and the viability of forming a union to address those needs.

This session will draw from the below readings:

Readings (click on the link to view):

“The Return of the Guilds: Towards a Global History of the Guilds in Pre-Industrial Times” Jan Lucassen, Tine de Moor, and Jan Luiten Van Zanden. (2008).

“W.A.G.E. Survey Poster” W.A.G.E. (2010).

“Open Letter to Labor Servicing the Culture Industry” member of arts & labor #ows. (2011).

“Artists As Militant Trade Union Workers during the Great Depression” Gerald M. Moore. (1974).

“CAR/FAC Fee Schedule (2014).

“(UN)DOING (UN)COMPENSATION” Caroline Woolard.

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Part of the collaborative summer series: Alternative To What? Alternative Art Economies Summer Sessions July–August, 2014

Collaborate Online: Help develop each class/session online at ThePublicSchoolNYC. ThePublic SchoolNYC is a collaborative platform for education. Click “+add me” on the proposal page to join the discussion: www.ThePublicSchool.org/Alternative-To-What

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[IMAGE: "Artists Union Membership." Artists As Militant Trade Union Workers during the Great Depression, Gerald M. Moore, Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1974), pp. 7-10]

Alternative Summer Sessions begin July 6

Alternative Summer Sessions start Sunday July 6….

What do we mean by Alternative Art Economies?
And what are we looking to find an alternative to?

MoMa-is-Racist-protest-May2-1970-JanVanRaay

Artist-Organized Alternative Spaces:
Reflections on the 60s–80s

Sunday July 6, 2014 – Walking + Reading Tour
4:00pm – Meet in front of  Carriage Trade**, 62 Walker St.
5:00pm – Meet in front of Artists Space**, 32 Green St., 3rd fl.

** We are making stops at these locations. 
** These locations are NOT affiliated with Arts & Labor or this Summer Series. Sorry for any confusion.

In this first session we will attempt to trace the history of “alternative spaces.” Through various site visits, essays, primary sources, news clippings, chronologies, and personal reflections, we will try to understand the context, possible motors, shifts the landscape, the people involved and their intentions. It’s also important to note that what we know about alternative spaces is still unfolding[...]

read more and download PDF readings:
Artist-Organized Alternative Spaces, July 6

Pack the CB11 meeting on 6/17!

PACK THE CB11 MEETING!
TUES. 6/17 @6:30pm

EHCCI 413 East 120th St.

DEMAND THAT THE FRIEZE NY ART FAIR GIVE 1% OF ITS REVENUE BACK TO ARTISTS AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS IN EAST HARLEM & THE SOUTH BRONX

Frieze NY is a multi-million dollar annual art fair that takes place on Randall’s Island.

• Arts & Labor, an activist group that fights against economic inequality in the arts, has developed a community benefit agreement that demands Frieze NY give 1% of its revenue to artists & arts organizations in East Harlem and the South Bronx.

• Frieze’s stay on Randall’s Island will facilitate the exchange of millions of dollars in sales of contemporary art. We believe that Frieze has a responsibility to give back to the neighborhoods surrounding Randall’s Island to redress Frieze’s preclusion of recreational and other public uses on this land during its stay.

• On May 13, the Economic Development, Culture & Tourism Committee passed a resolution supporting the demand, providing that neighborhood representatives would take part in the distribution process for the money.

• On June 17, the full board will vote on whether to also support this resolution.

PACK THE CB11 MTG ON JUNE 17th TO SUPPORT THIS 1% COMMUNITY BENEFIT!

Frieze New York: 1% from the 1% Community Benefit

FRIEZE NEW YORK…

  • Brings in $8 million in revenue from gallery booth rentals alone.
  • Pays less than $1/sq foot on public park land on which it mounts its massive tent.

EAST HARLEM & SOUTH BRONX…

  • Have a median household income that is between $20,000 to $30,000 respectively, one-third of the cost of a booth rented by a blue chip gallery.
  • Have long been fighting against privatization and to keep Randall’s Island accessible to its local residents.

FRIEZE SHOULD GIVE BACK

  • What if Frieze New York gave back to the neighborhoods that surround Randall’s Island in return for its takeover of public land?
  • What if Frieze New York redistributed the massive accumulation of wealth it participates in each year during the fair?
  • What if 1% of the estimated $8 million fair revenue were granted to artists and arts organizations in East Harlem and South Bronx?

For information about the details of the proposal, please contact owsartsandlabor@gmail.com

Frieze New York Related Protests and Solidarity Actions Timeline

Arts & Labor has put together this timeline to help the public understand the series of direct actions and political events that led to Frieze New York going Union. This victory was the result of actions carried out by a broad solidarity network over time.

Mid April 2012District Council of Carpenters set up first picket line at Frieze New York sponsor Deutsche Bank at headquarters on 60 Wall Street.
May 4-7, 2012: Unions including District Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Joint Council 16 put up picket line at Frieze New York.
May 8, 2012: Occupy Museums erects Freedom Cage at Frieze, part of the 2nd Free Art for Fair Exchange.
Mid April 2013Unions put up second picket line at Frieze New York sponsor Deutsche Bank headquarters on 60 Wall Street.

April 17, 2013: Arts & Labor issues a statement of support to Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters to demand that Frieze hire union and local labor.
April 17, 2013: Unions deliver a press conference on the steps of the City Hall.
April 18, 2013: Paper Monument withdrew participation from Frieze New York in protest of Frieze’s New York’s labor practice.
May 1, 2013: As part of the May Day city-wide demonstration, Arts & Labor along with members 99 Pickets and Rude Mechanical Orchestra visit the Frieze office to demand that the art fair negotiate with the unions.
May 2, 2013: City Council holds a hearing about Frieze Art Fair. Unions, community groups, and a Arts & Labor member give testimony.
May 5, 2013: Arts & Labor renames Frieze New York Art Fair, Frieze New York RAT FAIR.
May 6, 2013: Arts & Labor issued a letter to participating artists, galleries and attendees, along with panelists speaking at Frieze New York programs. A handful of members from the arts community contact the Frieze organizers in support of union demands.
May 8, 9, 10 2013: Union Coalition sets up picket line once again. Politicians including John Lui, Melissa Mark Viverito and Scott Stringer attend rally.
May 9, 2013: Andrea Bowers posts a letter criticizing Frieze’s labor practices next to her work in Susanne Vielmetter and Kaufman Repetto’s booths. That night, the letter is removed without the artists consent.
May 10, 2013: Andrea Bowers letter is re-posted.
May 10, 2013: Suzanne Lacy and Nato Thompson give Teamsters and Arts & Labor 10 minutes during their panel to read a statement. Despite an initial agreement, Teamsters are not allowed to speak last minute, forcing Arts & Labor to deliver both statements.
May 11, 2013: Arts & Labor and members of 99 Pickets carries out a series of direct actions inside the fair to inform the public and participating galleries about Frieze’s labor practices. Tactics include leafleting, mic checks, air horns, rat masks, and t-shirts.
September 2013: Arts & Labor begins outreach to arts & community groups surrounding Randall’s Island.
October 3, 2013: Parks hearing convened by Melissa Mark Viverito with emphasis on Frieze. Viverito represents District 8 which is home to Randall’s Island. Teamsters and Carpenter unions testify.
November 5, 2013: Bill De Blasio elected Mayor

January, 2014: Melissa Mark Viverito named Speaker of City Council.
January, 2014: Teamsters reach out to Randall’s Island Park Alliance to inquire the status of Community Board involvement and timing of permits. Frieze hires Capalino & Company to represent them in discussion with Unions.
February 3, 2014: Artists spark a twitter storm around #strikefriezeny
February 28, 2014: Frieze New York and union negotiations become public. Arts & Labor further raises awareness through social media.
March 7, 2014: Arts & Labor meets with Frieze.
March 2014: Unions and Frieze continue to negotiate a contract.
April 9, 2014: Frieze New York announces it will hire union for the construction of the 250,000 square foot tent starting 2015.

Solidarity Wins! Frieze New York Goes Union

For Immediate Release
Contact: owsartsandlabor@gmail.com

Unions, including Teamsters Joint Council 16 and IATSE, reached an agreement with Frieze New York regarding its hiring practices. This year, the art fair will hire some union labor to construct the fair’s tent on Randall’s Island. Starting in 2015, Frieze New York has committed to hiring 100% union labor. We applaud Frieze’s effort in supporting fair labor practices and its long-term commitment to set an example for the rest of the industry.

Arts & Labor has stood in solidarity with the unions throughout this effort. Our tactics have included a series of direct actions both inside and outside the fair, a letter writing campaign, and the raising of awareness via social media. We also want to acknowledge the vital support of artists Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers, curator Nato Thompson, and many others. We thank everyone who put their reputation on the line to create room for discussion when there was none and who created a platform for workers to speak up. We celebrate this victory as a step in the right direction toward a more just art industry and see it as an effective demonstration of the impact of solidarity networks.

While this as an essential step, we know it is not enough. There will still be many art workers who will be paid poorly and treated unfairly during the time that Frieze New York is in our city. We hope that this victory provides inspiration for all of us to continue to fight for better working conditions. For Arts & Labor, this emboldens us for the work ahead and in our goal of ending exploitation for all art workers.

The fact remains that the Frieze New York art fair is a for-profit, multimillion-dollar enterprise that takes place on city parkland surrounded by residential areas with household incomes that are less than half of the citywide median. We believe that Frieze has a responsibility to give back to our city in exchange for generating vast amounts of wealth that only benefits the very wealthiest collectors and investors on public park land. We will continue to engage Frieze in conversation about how they might redress the impact of their presence and contribute to the city beyond the false, “trickle-down” paradigm of tourist-oriented economic development.

In that spirit, Arts & Labor would like to invite you to our next public meeting for a full report back on this campaign and a discussion of where to go from here.

Join us!
Tuesday, April 15 , 7-9pm
33 W 14th Street (Basement), Manhattan

* Additionally, workers from Utrecht Art Supplies who recently voted to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union will also share their journey to victory.

Organizing for Frieze NY 2014

It’s that time of year again. The great white spaceship of an art fair, Frieze NY, prepares for its descent on Randall’s Island, bringing with it some of the biggest galleries and richest collectors from around the world.

Last year, Arts & Labor launched a campaign in solidarity with Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters to demand that Frieze hire union and local labor in the construction of its tent. We continue to organize as a coalition around these demands.

In 2014, Arts & Labor will continue to advocate for union jobs and against exploitative conditions for all art workers at the fair. Arts & Labor also demands that Frieze NY, a multimillion dollar operation held in a public park, support the surrounding neighborhood-based arts communities.

SOME FACTS ABOUT FRIEZE & RANDALL’S ISLAND
• Last year Frieze hired the company Production Glue to construct its massive tent. Production Glue refused to hire local and union, and instead brought in workers from as far away as Wisconsin, paying them a fraction of the wages that NYC workers receive.
• Frieze takes place on public park land and pays less than $1/square foot (this may be the cheapest rent in all of NYC)
• Frieze is inaccessible for many New Yorkers with its ticket prices of $44/person.
• Randall’s Island is managed by a public-private partnership called the “Randall’s Island Park Alliance” (RIPA)
• There is a longstanding fight against privatization and to keep Randall’s Island accessible to the surrounding neighborhoods of East Harlem and the South Bronx. There is a comprehensive of this history on East Harlem Preservation’s website.

Arts & Labor 2013 Actions
April 17, 2013: Arts & Labor issues a statement of support to Teamsters Joint Council 16, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1 and District Council 9 of Painters to demand that Frieze hire union and local labor.
May 1, 2013: Arts & Labor storms the Frieze office on Mayday with a marching band demanding that Frieze negotiate with the unions (unfortunately due to the high-stress nature of this action there was no documentation!)
May 2, 2013: Arts & Labor participates in a public hearing about the Frieze Art Fair in front of city council.
May 5, 2013: Arts & Labor renames Frieze NY, Frieze NY RAT FAIR
May 6, 2013: Arts & Labor issues a letter to panelists speaking at the Frieze NY Art Fair and to participating artists, galleries and attendees. A number of participating artists and members of the public contacted the Frieze organizers to demand fair pay and union jobs at the event.
May 10, 2013: Arts & Labor & The Teamsters speak on Suzanne Lacy and Nato Thompson panel. The Teamsters are not allowed to speak at the last minute, and Arts & Labor reads statement for them (view raw footage here and skip to 15:40).
May 11, 2013: Arts & Labor does a series of direct actions inside the fair that include rat masks, flyers, air horns and mic checks  to inform the public and participating galleries about conditions at the fair. (photos below)

Art Worker Survey 2014

ART WORKER SURVEY 2014
HAPPY HOUR  & LAUNCH PARTY
This Thursday, January 30, 6 – 8 pm

THE HALF KING, 505 West 23rd Street, New York

Arts & Labor has joined forces with the students and faculty at CUNY’s Murphy Institute to gather data on the working conditions of art workers in New York City. Join us to unwind after a long day of work, and enjoy a free drink from filling in the survey.

For more information, visit artsandlabor.org/artworkersurvey.
Feel free to email us with any questions: artsandlaborsurvey@gmail.com.
RSVP is helpful but not required.