a-n launches five-year Valuing Artists strategy, UK

a-n is the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK with over 21,000 members. On behalf of its members, a-n has launched a five-year strategy to tackle the growing challenges they face in sustaining their careers as they contribute to the UK’s £1.9bn visual arts success.

The Valuing Artists strategy was developed with input from a-n’s members and AIR Council. The strategy has a fundamental aim of ensuring policy makers and commissioners value the artist as well as the art.

The strategy will build support for:

  • A Brexit that works for visual artists in the UK, focusing on freedom of movement, residency and rights and, beyond 2019, will continue to promote the rights of artists as they are affected by our withdrawal from the EU by exploring solutions to the issues our members face.
  • More sustainable livelihoods for visual artists by building on a-n’s core advocacy work to make the case for fair payment of artists; to understand and articulate the wider range of issues which impact on artists’ livelihoods and the nature of their practice today; and promote credible solutions to these issues to government.
  • Greater diversity in the visual arts sector by using a-n’s unique position as the largest grassroots visual arts membership organisation in the UK to deliver valuable, nuanced intelligence around the scale and impact of diversity as it is reflected in artist-led practice today, while promoting greater diversity at all levels of the sector.

a-n Director Jeanie Scott said: “As a sector, the visual arts make a significant contribution to our economy and our international reputation. However, as a nation we do not place the same value on the artists that create the work and reputation we cherish.”

“Artists are resilient but we have got to recognise and find solutions to the unique set of challenges they face. The Valuing Artists strategy is about working with our members, our partners with shared interests and with local, regional and national policy makers to do just that.”

a-n will also partner with a variety of membership organisations to build the case for change on shared issues. This week sees the launch of the first Valuing Artists project and partnership, with a-n working alongside the Incorporated Society of Musicians to highlight key Brexit issues impacting on self-employed artists.

The core members of a-n’s new Paying Artists Working Group will be announced over the summer and a research and advocacy partnership with Visual Artists Ireland around social security for artists will be announced in the autumn, followed by details of further campaigns and projects into 2018.