Artists’ Union England representatives were very proud to present AUE’s very first motion to the Trades Union Congress 2017 in Brighton this September. Our Motion ‘1% for Art’ (presented by Martin Sundram, on behalf of the executive committee; full text below) was seconded by Equity and passed unanimously, meaning that in principle TUC members support our plan for affiliates to support the work of living artists by spending 1% of any building budget on art.
This is another step forward for our union, as we are welcomed into a Trades Union movement that supports artists as workers.
Motion text: ‘Artists’ Union England propose that this conference agree that 1 percent of the budget of any new-build construction, renovation, conversion or major refurbishment by an affiliate member be spent on buying or commissioning public art. And that artists are made aware of these funds through widely publicised and transparent announcements, and that the funds are distributed fairly.
The ‘Percent for Art’ is an established scheme in USA and Europe, endorsed by local and national public bodies. The UK does not have a ‘percent for art’ scheme – although some regional and municipal bodies have developed something similar. Such schemes have been eroded over time due to budgets cuts. Compounding this is a culture of artists working for free and not being aware or organised, who are not challenging this culture and not speaking out and insisting on being paid for the artwork that they produce.
The GfTU’s recent commitment to purchase artwork for Quorn Grange Hotel and its endorsement of ‘1% for Art’ at its recent Biennial General Council Meeting is an example of support and solidarity with creative workers. In passing this motion, Congress would be paving the way forward in establishing a progressive and bold approach to the environments we want to work in as well as supporting the work of artists in the UK.
This motion is an opportunity to show that AUE is part of the trade union family, a family that backs a growing trade union and values the contribution of its members and is prepared to support it. This will send a clear message to our membership and future members.
Congress calls for the TUC to agree to:
- Endorse the principles behind 1% for art
- Agree that fair and transparent mechanisms are in place for distribution of the fundsto one or more commissioned artists.
Artists’ Union England Executive Committee 2017′