With no end to the current COVID-19 pandemic in sight, it can feel easy to slide into a space of mourning. The toll of this virus is still being estimated worldwide, and across the US, art workers, like millions of other laborers, have found themselves laid off, furloughed, or otherwise unemployed. Many of us are grieving, for numerous reasons, and it’s important to take the time to process the weight of those emotions.
Yet when you feel ready, now is also a good time to band together with others, and exchange strategies and resources. Next Tuesday (April 14), members of the New Museum Union (NuMuU) will be doing just that for “Rehearsing Solidarity,” a workshop that invites participants to “explore the meaning of solidarity within their own workplaces.” Presented as part of the Admin ⚙️ series, organized by the eponymous New York-based network of arts administrators, “Rehearsing Solidarity” will be run and facilitated by NuMuU, and participants will be invited to think creatively about diverse topics related to labor in the art world, such as what an “ideal” employment contract could look like, and how to foster more generative methods of organizing across the art world. As members of the union explained in a statement to Hyperallergic:
The COVID-19 crisis is simply intensifying the precarity that many workers in the art world have had to deal with for a long time. We have learned that we can’t count on our employers to do the right thing, even when basic survival — a living wage, healthcare, safety on the job — is at stake. Instead, we have to articulate and fight for our demands together […].
“Rehearsing Solidarity” continues the work of creating space for art workers to support and learn from each other, at a time when such collaboration is sorely needed. As members of Admin remind us:
As always, the costs of a crisis are borne not by the big institutions that have capital and power, but offloaded onto the individuals who are living paycheck-to-paycheck … [While] we pride ourselves on creativity, what’s needed now isn’t just creativity: it’s solidarity.
So as we consider how to forge our own futures amid uncertainty, let’s act collaboratively and stay safe by sticking together.
When: April 14, 6:00pm–8:30pm (EST)
Where: Online, via Zoom
More details via CUE Art Foundation.
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