A Talk with Yasmin Ramirez

The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition: A Talk with Yasmin Ramirez

December 12, 2012
Taller Boricua, 1680 Lexington Ave. NYC

In the late 1960s, art workers in New York City came together to demand reforms to the exploitive and exclusionary practices of the art world. The Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition (PRAWC), founded in 1970, followed the 1969 formation of the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), a group aimed at pressuring city museums into implementing policies such as paying artists for exhibiting their work, better representation of art by women and people of color, and free admission. Members of PRAWC were active in founding El Museo del Barrio (1969), and fought to establish institutions that reflected the culture and needs of Latino artists in New York City.  Continue reading

Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: An Arts & Labor Roundtable

Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: An Arts & Labor Roundtable
Thursday October 25 at 7 p.m.
Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore
126 Crosby Street New York, NY
Admission: a book donation to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Art writing is hard work. However, it is often framed as a mythic activity, replete with benefits such as “the power of the pen,” the authority of the critic, and the allure of earning a living while doing something exciting, and meaningful. Continue reading

Twice the Work, Half the Pay: Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry

Thursday, Oct. 18, 6-8pm
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St., New York)

The annual CMJ Music Marathon comes to NYC October 16-20, with panels on the music business promising to “help make sense of the current climate.” But what does it really offer musicians? How does the industry itself, which promotes ideas such as the “super-entrepreneur,” contribute to the difficult conditions musicians face?

Continue reading

Art Workers Unite! One Year Anniversary of OWS

Dear Art Workers and Allies,
September 17 is the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Working groups all over the city are planning actions, events, and discussions to honor the occasion. Arts & Labor is participating in full force throughout the three-day convergence and beyond with Free University from September 18th–22nd. We want to share our plans with you, and invite you to join us!

The overall flow of the weekend activities is as follows:

S15 Education

Washington Square Park, 5th Ave and Waverly. 10:30am–9pm
Full Schedule
Arts & Labor launches “Debt Squares” from Noon–3 pm.

S16 Celebration

Various Locations
Full Schedule
“Debt Squares” continues from Noon–3pm.

S17 Resist!

Start the day off bright and early with a series of nonviolent direct actions (varying levels of risk) around Wall Street.

Full Schedule
Download Action MAP! 

7am: Arts & Labor meets at the 99% Zone, at Liberty Park. Look for the Art Strike Sign! Alternate Location “The Red Cube” across the street.
7:30am: Solidarity with People’s Wall Peaceful Sit in around the stock exchange.
(Note: Arrestable Action)
8:30am: Arts & Labor Joins the “Labor Swirl,” a walking tour of Labor Targets on Wall Street.
Meeting Spot: 2 Broadway, across from the Bowling Green stop on the 4, 5.
11 am: Action General Assembly at South Ferry Terminal. 
GA to decide additional actions for the day.

Green Zone: A safe space to retreat and rest 
Foley Square, all day


If you are interested in taking part in actions on the morning of S17, we strongly suggest you consider attending an action and legal training session.
Full List of Trainings

Stand With Occupy

Intellectuals, Academics, and Artists Call to Support OWS Anniversary Actions 

The Action Resource Fund helps Occupy Wall Street working and affinity groups get the resources they need to do the things they want on big days of action. Please contribute if you can.
Protect Occupy’s Right to Peaceably Assemble!
Sign the petition, watch and share this video.

OWS September 17 Website
Sign up for General OWS S17 updates via text message TEXT: “@S17NYC” TO 23559

Follow Arts & Labor on Twitter and Facebook


Report Back: Discussion w/Haben und Brauchen in Berlin

Arts & Labor at Haben und Brauchen DiscussionOn June 12, autonomous members of the Arts & Labor Alternative Economies subgroup took part in a presentation and public discussion with members of Haben und Brauchen, a Berlin-based group dedicated to examining the intersection of arts funding and urban development. The two groups came together to share organizational strategies and compare the differing conditions of artistic labor in Berlin and New York. A&L began the presentation with a slide talk summarizing the different arts and culture groups involved in Occupy Wall Street and an overview of the organizational structure of the movement at large; we then spoke about the work of A&L thus far and opened the room to questions. We discussed the space that OWS seemed to create for disparate groups on the left to come together, and learned about the self-critique in Berlin’s art world and the reactions to the political involvement in funding for the arts. Continue reading

Report Back: Arts & Labor in Copenhagen

On June 18th, Arts & Labor participated in the seminar “Working Conditions,” hosted by the Danish artist union UKK (Young Art Workers).

UKK installationThe seminar was part of a two-week exhibition and series of events that UKK hosted as part of their ten-year anniversary at Overgaden. We presented alongside the Precarious Workers Brigade/ Carrot Workers Collective from London, a representative from the research department of the Chilean Ministry of Culture, the Danish art and activist collective Openhagen, and the UKK. Continue reading

Report Back: Occupy The Land! Unconference

596 Acres workshop at The South Williamsburg Garden

This year the NYC Community Garden Coalition invited the working groups of Occupy Wall Street to help organize their first city-wde Community Garden Unconference. A member of Arts & Labor Alternative EconomiesMaking Worlds Commons Coalition  stepped up to organize a schedule of events for the Occupy the Land! Unconference, June 1-3. Continue reading

Danish Art Union UKK hosts International Arts Worker Groups

Seminar at Overgaden the 17th of June 2012 in the framework of UKK’s 10th anniversary.

13.00 Welcome
13.15 Arts&Labour, New York USA
13.50 Precarious Workers Brigade / Carrot Worker’s Collective, London UK
14.40 BREAK
15.00 Christobal Bianchi, Santiago Chile
15.30 Tina og Eva (openhagen), Copenhagen DK
16.00 Joint discussion!
17.00 End of Seminar Continue reading

Why Work? Make History. Celebrate May Day with Arts & Labor!

Why Work?
Make History
Celebrate May Day
Join Workers,
and the 99%
At Union Square!

Members of Arts and Labor’s Radical Arts group dropped a banner on April 30, 2012 at Bleecker Street and Lafayette in celebration of May Day. Join us in the streets on May 1st to honor International Workers’ Day. No Work, No School, No Shopping, Slow Down!