Unions, protests, lawsuits: The US art world today is a site of struggle against inequality as never before. The last two years alone have seen a surge in union organization at museums across the country; protests against plutocrat museum trustees; legal claims of gender discrimination and sexual harassment; and challenges to white supremacy in cultural organizations and criticism. With the far right dominating our national politics, art workers are determined to create a progressive space in the ostensibly liberal sphere of art—in the workplace, not just the exhibition gallery.
Often, these fights have been waged singly, but these issues are intersectional. Thus, the first goal of the summit is to link these struggles, build alliances, and identify common problems. The second goal is to work together to propose steps forward: What would an equitable workplace look like? What actions can we take now to achieve this? How can workers from across the art world support each other? How can entry-level, part-time, and freelance workers effect change when those at the top decline?
Over two days, panels and conversations will look at the most critical inequities encountered by US art workers in museums, studios, publishing, and academia, focusing on concrete measures and positive models for progress. Talks will be punctuated by breakout workshops for discussion and practical advice.
The summit will be held Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday, April 16–18, 2020 in New York City. Further details will be announced in early 2020. To find out more, leave us your email address here and we’ll send details–including sign up for attendance–as they’re ready.