Dear [insert name of MP] As local artists, we believe you can play a leading role in securing the future of [name of city]’s thriving cultural sector and the very significant benefits that it delivers. For decades, galleries across the UK have had a tradition of not paying artists who take part in publicly funded exhibitions (research conducted on behalf of the largest artists membership organisation in the UK shows that 71% of artists exhibiting in publicly funded spaces received no fee for their work.) This is wrong on many levels. Public investment in the arts should promote equality and diversity – and that should mean fair pay for everyone – including artists. More practically, as local artists, we are finding it increasingly hard to work for nothing in this climate and some of us are seriously considering leaving the sector. The implications of this are not just personal. If large numbers of artists are driven out of the sector it will trigger a gradual erosion of [name of city]’s cultural economy and the civic distinctiveness which makes it so special. We do not pretend that paying artists is easy for galleries on reduced budgets. However, we know, from examples in other cities, that it can be done. We also know that local politicians like you can play a leading role in making it happen and invite you to demonstrate your support for this important local issue by [insert detail of specific request – attend a meeting/sign up to the campaign etc]. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Yours faithfully [insert names of as many local artists as possible]
You can contact your Member of Parliament about the Paying Artists Campaign.