Motion 12 The impact of coronavirus on artists

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Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on artists and the arts and culture sector. Many self-employed artists fall between the cracks and do not qualify for government measures, have had work for the foreseeable future cancelled and/or cannot access their studios due to safety and lockdown. This has led to a situation whereby artists and their families are in severe poverty, living off savings if they have any and facing destitution.

A significant number of our members work part-time as lecturers or in community arts and the short-term, temporary, precarious nature of this work means that they have essentially lost two streams of income as well as not qualifying for government self-employed support.

Congress calls on the TUC to:

i. lobby the government for adequate support that addresses the needs of artists, including access to affordable studio provision

ii. work with AUE and other culture sector trade unions to protect the sector

iii. ensure TUC affiliates offer proper rates of pay for services and work they ask those in the arts and culture sectors to undertake

iv. campaign against the impact of cuts on the arts and culture sector and initiate a network of trade unionists, community groups, local and regional organisations to develop a long-term investment strategy for the arts

v. campaign for investment and initiatives to support the whole arts sector to recover from the recent large-scale disruption due to coronavirus.

Artists’ Union England