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?

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Debt Squares! Visualizing Debt Together

Nearly everyone is affected by debt, from recent graduates paying hundreds of dollars in interest on their students loans every month, to working families bankrupted by their medical bills, to those taking out payday loans at 400% interest to cover basic living costs, to the teachers and firefighters forced to take pay cuts because their cities are broke, to countries pushed into austerity and poverty by structural adjustment programs.

There is a movement building across the country of debt resistance. Many are mobilizing against the condition of debt, and the servitude and destruction that goes along with it. As part of this mobilization, people have begun to share their debt stories. These conversations make us realize that it is the system that is responsible for our shared condition. We are not alone.

you are not a loan

Another way of looking at debt in contrast to the feelings of financial paralysis it causes, is the idea of “indebtedness.” Not all debt is bad. There are also positive ways that debt that functions in society—being indebted can create social bonds and manifest itself in relationships through love, care and gratitude.  (i.e. think of the debt you owe to your friends or your parents.)

In a gesture of shared storytelling, Arts & Labor is initiating DEBT SQUARES, a community quilting project. We will be bringing this project into town squares, parks, and other spaces around New York City, inviting people to sew together, discuss, and visualize our shared condition of debt. The first sessions will begin in Washington Square Park on September 15th and in Foley Square on September 16th.

Debtors Squares: Join the debt resistance movement!

For those that can’t join us, we invite you to tell your debt story by making your own DEBT SQUARE that will be added to the quilt. Send us your square!

Arts & Labor
888 Newark Ave.
Studio #235
Jersey City NJ 07306

To contribute to this project please consider the following guidelines:
• SQUARES should be approx. 20” x 20”
• Use fabric that is fairly durable
• We have created a suggested color logic for you to consider while building your debt square:
RED = Student Debt / Education
YELLOW = Mortgage / Housing
GREEN= Credit Card / Commercial
BLUE= Medical
RAINBOW, PASTELS & PATTERNS = Love / Care / Friendship / Family, etc.

Note: These are just suggestions! Feel free to ignore this entirely and make your DEBT SQUARE square your own. 

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

August 7, 2012

 Report Backs
  • Intern Labor Rights Street Outreach tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!
  • Alt Econ
  •  Outreach Opportunity
Agenda Items -
  • A&L newsletter
  • Radical Art
  •  Proposal :Labor Conditions in the Cultural Industry
  • Guidelines / Email List
  • Community guidelines
  • Budget master
  • Teach-in brainstorming
  • EFA Debt conversation
  • Freeform conversation

Five Ways We Can Act

Five Ways We Can Act When we identify as ART WORKERS, we see ourselves within a larger economic system, and discover our power to shape it together.

Five Ways We Can Act:

1. Pay and be paid. When others profit from our work, why should we work for free? Ask for payment for presentations, exhibitions, performances, writing, internships and more. Likewise, if you have interns, assistants, or employees, pay them fairly!

2. Reconsider Value. Value Labor. When money is not an available currency, consider alternative compensation and negotiate other forms of exchange.

3. Share. Our resources can go much further when shared. Develop a spirit of mutual aid and interdependence within your community.

4. Build Solidarity. Reach out to fellow art workers and recognize their struggles and successes as your own. Connect, brainstorm, and act together.

5. Organize. Talk to fellow art workers, identify problems and strategize solutions. Go to a meeting, rally or teach-in. Get involved with Arts & Labor or start a group where you live. Stand up and speak out!