A Paying Artists Working Group is being set up to inform the development of a-n/AIR’s Exhibition Payment Guide and support its implementation over the next five years.

a-n/AIR are bringing together organisations across the UK that have a national remit or sector specific expertise to form a Paying Artists Working Group. The group will engage with the next development of the Exhibition Payment Guide and support its implementation through their networks.

a-n published the first edition of the Exhibition Payment Guide in October 2016 following a two year sector-wide consultation that took place as part of the Paying Artists campaign which aims to secure payment for artists when they exhibit in publicly funded galleries.

The guide, which is endorsed by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Wales, sets out best practice for establishing and agreeing exhibition payments for artists with suggested payments ranging from £150 to £6,000.

There are over 150 publicly funded galleries in England, Scotland and Wales but until now there has been no widely agreed guidance as to how much artists should be paid for creating the work shown within their changing exhibition programmes. The guide is a vital first step in ensuring the sustainability of the arts ecology, but it is a first step only.

a-n is committed to developing the guidance, and to supporting its implementation through further research and partnership working over the next five years.

In the autumn the Paying Artists Working Group will meet for the first time. The group, which includes AD:UK, Crafts Council, CVAN, Engage, Museums Association, Plus Tate, SCAN and Visual Artists Ireland will work with a-n and their networks to contribute to the development and implementation of future iterations of the Exhibition Payment Guide, and to review the Exhibition Payment Framework in 2022.

Other sector support organisations have committed to support the work of the Group in different ways, and a-n will continue to work with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and (through Visual Artists Ireland) Arts Council Northern Ireland.

Artists, to be recruited from an open call later in the year, will also share an important and constructive role as artist representatives in the Working Group.

Paying Artists Working Group: member information

ADUK is a registered charity supporting arts in local communities. They are a membership organisation whose members are committed to access to the arts for all, irrespective of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, economic background and ability. They advocate for and demonstrate the role, purpose and value of arts and culture in breaking down barriers, promoting respect and understanding and supporting social and community cohesion. ADUK believes that arts development is a distinct and essential role, different to art form specialisms. It is a genuine tool for engaging audiences, a driver of social change with the ability to attract and secure contracts and commissions for community, health and wellbeing, economic and other civic outcomes. ADUK occupies a unique position as there is no other recognised professional body supporting arts development nationally and enabling a wide range of arts professionals to shape, share through effective networks, collaborate and deliver best practice in arts development work. 

“ADUK offers advice, networking and support to arts professionals across England and Wales.  We are passionate about making sure these professionals are paid properly for the excellent work they do ensuring arts thrive in all our communities. In order to realise our vision that we have a resilient and sustainable cultural sector we are looking forward to working with a-n and other support organisations to review and develop guidance on paying artists.”
Catherine Rogers, Creative Leicestershire Manager and ADUK Trustee

Crafts Council
The Crafts Council is Britain’s national agency for contemporary craft. Through exhibitions, publications, education programmes and curating the national Collection, we champion the UK’s foremost makers and present contemporary craft in new ways, challenging perceptions of what craft is and can be.

“As a national agency, we seek to build a strong economy and infrastructure for contemporary craft. Supporting and remunerating makers and artists is an important aspect of that remit. We’re thus delighted to be contributing to the next development of the Exhibition Payment Guide.”
Sarah Turner, Exhibitions Projects Curator, Crafts Council

CVAN mobilises and supports a vibrant regional network, where artists and organisations are valued and can thrive across the UK. CVAN are working towards a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

“CVAN is very pleased to support the Paying Artists campaign, and advocates for a better understanding and perception of artists and their working lives. It is a much overused mantra from organisations that artists are at the heart of what they do, yet they are valued so poorly in both their actual influence and economic worth.”
Gordon Dalton, Network Manager, VASW / Interim Director, CVAN

Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education. We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

“Engage is delighted to be supporting the Paying Artists campaign and honoured to serve on the Paying Artists Working Group. Engage represents galleries, visual arts organisations and artists working in gallery education, and we want to ensure that both artists and visual arts organisations flourish. Artists thriving by making a living through their work is a key component of this.”
Jane Sillis, Director, Engage

Museums Association
The Museums Association (MA) is a membership organisation representing and supporting museums and people who work for them, throughout the UK. Our membership of over 8000 includes all types of museums, from small volunteer-run locals to large nationals and people working in all types of roles from directors to trainees. Founded in 1889, the MA was the world’s first professional body for museums. We lead thinking in UK museums with initiatives such as Collections for the Future, Museums 2020 and, most recently, Museums Change Lives. We receive no regular public funding, and we do not wish to do so.

“I’m delighted to be participating in this Working Group. The Museums Association has done a substantial amount of research into salaries in the museums sector recently and I think that our sectors have much to learn from each other about fair pay.”
Alistair Browne, Policy Officer, Museums Association

Plus Tate
Plus Tate is a network of thirty five visual arts institutions including Tate, enabling collaboration and change. Through this network, Tate contributes its resources to a group of dynamic organisations committed to working with contemporary art and artists and audiences in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The annual programme of events for members supports the development of the visual arts across the UK, by facilitating exchange and partnership designed to inspire people about art.

“Plus Tate is a network of thirty five visual arts institutions including Tate, enabling collaboration and change. The network shares a commitment to growing audiences for contemporary art in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The annual programme of events for members supports the development of the visual arts across the UK, by facilitating collegiate exchange and programme partnerships.

“All member organisations of the Plus Tate network are committed to supporting and championing the importance of artists and their contribution to society, and to the principle and practice of their proper remuneration. The Plus Tate network is an active supporter of the Paying Artists campaign and is represented on the Paying Artists Working Group.”
Paul Hobson, Director, Modern Art Oxford and Plus Tate representative

Scottish Contemporary Art Network is a member led network committed to championing and supporting the contemporary art sector in Scotland. We provide the forum, impetus and support for the sector to pursue knowledge sharing, networking, research, professional development, and advocacy.

“SCAN is looking forward to working with our UK partners to help develop the next phase of the Exhibition Payment Guide. It is vitally important that appropriate guidance is in place to support artists and art organisations to agree fair and transparent terms and conditions for their collaborations.”
Seonaid Daly, Director, Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Visual Artists Ireland
Visual Artists Ireland is the Representative Body for Visual Artists for the island of Ireland. We provide practical support to visual artists in all art forms throughout their careers.  Our Advocacy, Advice and Membership services combine with our Professional Development and Art News Centre to be the most comprehensive support and information service available to visual artists in Ireland today.

“We see on a daily basis the expectation on visual artists to work for free is growing as cultural budgets are cut and funding becomes more and more competitive.  We look forward to working with the Group to develop the guidance, and embed it as standard practice, just as we have done in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”
Noel Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Visual Artists Ireland
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