Artists have specialized skills and capacities, but their basic needs are not unique. They need stable and affordable housing; access to health care and unemployment insurance; time off when they are sick or have a family crisis; fair wages; legal protection from exploitation; and opportunities and resources to turn their ideas into reality.

Yet most working artists—including many who are considered “successful” by typical standards—work multiple jobs and struggle to make ends meet, falling through the cracks of our economy and social safety net. The COVID-19 pandemic made clear that artists’ economic lives are precarious, and they have few safety nets available to them in moments of shock or disruption. The good and bad news is that artists are not alone, and there are growing movements working to address the systemic and structural issues that keep many members of our society on the margins, often despite working full-time and/or providing services of great value to communities. Artists and artist advocates can benefit from joining broader movements fighting for fair pay and benefits, workers’ rights, debt relief, guaranteed income, more democratic workplaces, affordable housing, subsidized child care, and more; as well as adapting their strategies, tactics, and tools to push for a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic creative sector.

This report investigates five areas where artists and artist advocates can invest for structural and systemic change (as well as a critical look at NFTs).

  1. Access the Capital
  2. Worker Cooperatives
  3. 1099 Worker Benefits and Protections
  4. Guaranteed Income
  5. Mutual Aid

Read the full article about supporting artists at Helicon.