It's time to Organize!
Last October I was sexually harassed by a fellow art worker. This is not the first time it has happened and unfortunately I don't believe it will be the last. The #metoo movement has shined a light on the working conditions of women in several industries, but I have been disappointed with the lack of serious material response within the art world. This is why I believe we need to organize. It goes without saying that the precarity of our, often unpaid, labor excludes many meaningful contributions to culture work, but it also creates toxic conditions for women, people of color, differently abled people, queer, trans, and non-binary people, etc. How narrow is the scope of funded culture work due to these toxic conditions? I'd like to try to change that. That is why next Wednesday, September 19th, along with friends, art workers, and organizers from the the Women's Center for Creative Work, I'll be hosting the first meeting of Human Resources for Art Workers at the WCCW.
If you were sexually harassed by a fellow artist in your group exhibition, who would you report that to? If a curator was clearly tokenizing your identity and proceeded to enact several microaggressive gestures towards you, who would you report that to? If a gallerist has failed to pay you for the sale of your work in a reasonable amount of time, who would you report that to? Do you feel uncomfortable asking to be paid W.A.G.E. certified fees? Have you noticed certain art spaces creating hostile or predatory cultures towards women and/or people of color?
Human Resources for Art Workers (not to be confused with the art space) is an idea for a service-based art workers union. Our intention is to utilize tools such as restorative justice, mediation and conflict resolution, legal council, support groups, and mutual aid resources. This is a conversation, a working group, and a community building exercise. If you are interested in brainstorming, cultivating, and/or co-organizing for art workers rights, please joins us as we collectively begin to wade into these waters.
Wednesdays, 7–10 pm
September 19 / October 24 / November 28
Hosted by Christy Roberts Berkowitz
Max 50 participants
Accessibility information for this event: WCCW has a 36” wide ramp at our front entrance and a stairway with 8 steps and a rail. There are 2 gender neutral restrooms. One restroom is wheelchair accessible, with a handrail. We provide scent free soaps and encourage guests to attend our events scent free. If you require ASL interpretation, CART, interpretation for a language other than English, supervised childcare, or have any other access needs or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance. It is our practice to do everything we can to create a safe and accessible space.