Arts and Labor Meeting Minutes, April 10, 2012
60 Wall Street
co-facilitators: MP & DG
1. May 1 statement [PASSED]
2. Alt Econ pamphlet
3. Julia Bryan-Wilson teach-in [PASSED]
4. Visioning session pt. 2 [PASSED]
5. Protocol document [PASSED]
6. Giant A&L banner for May 1?
DG: Occupy Museums action this Thu Apr 12, Hudson River Park Trust presentation, Marlborough Gallery will then present works that will be exhibited at the park and then sold. OM will protest. Teamsters will join b/c Diana Taylor, Sotheby’s board member [and girlfriend of our billionaire mayor], is also on board of HRPT. Flyer: Marlborough profiting from public space, “Stop the Privatization of Chelsea Cove,” on land proposed for nonprofit Chelsea Scupture Park. Would like to see posted on website.
TrapperJohn: this Fri, 7–9 PM, Einstein Auditorium, 34 Stuyvesant, panel at NYU called “Art School in the Age of Occupy” with some A&L members among panelists. Wants it to be like Gran Fury, town hall meeting, lively with lots of people and lots of arts professionals. Already word that lots of people are coming, teachers bringing their students. Afterparty, perhaps St. Mark’s alehouse.
Also, Union group met last night. Organizing to share/publish research.
AS: Yes, resource guide.
TJ: Plus event later.
AS: TB asked me to announce Radical Arts, noon-6 PM, at DUMBO puppet workshop, he will post info on GG. GS introduced TB to Rasha Salti, getting her to Skype in re: issues at the Syrian border, thought good fit for conversation. Just confirmed time, 1PM this Sat at RA meeting, will be recorded. Don’t have specific agenda, but sharing info on what’s happening. Anyone welcome even if you don’t want to make agit-prop.
MP: what is Radical Arts? Part of A&L?
LB: yes, subgroup that meets to make banners, signs, etc.
AS: started under diff’t premises but that’s what it’s become.
ES: May 1, May day mutual aid and solidarity market, 12–5 PM, “really free market,” skillshares, teach ins, free food and drink. Bring food/water to share, items for market, volunteer to help. Contact me for email with details.
MP: was at Musicians Union today, musicians organizing to bring more people in for May Day. Planning protest at popular club that doesn’t pay to launch May Day stuff.
CK: Sat went to big Occupy Arts Assembly at Union Sq. I kind of had negative meltdown. 17 people there, 5 were A&L, one OM crossover. I vanished.
LB: people talking about puppets, fashion show to model ideas against the state.
BR: I think structure what’s happening: M1 arts coalition has offered to bottom line a lot of actions, focused around public art. They will be sponsoring many things, providing resources. They need help, it’s pretty eclectic, not a place for A&L to put down roots necessarily. Something A&L-oriented needs to come out of this group. Their focus is public art around Bway btw the marches. Have side of building set up ready for projections.
RH: May Day and May Day arts listserves (on riseup.net) for sharing ideas, blog for ideas. Tomorrow night, Marlene McCarty from Gran Fury & Christine Vachon(?),6:30PM, 10 Greene St, 2nd floor, “Consciousness Raising and
MS: Posted on GG, another Gran Fury event at 7PM, same day.
BR: Does A&L want to join meeting with Sotheby’s workers? How to move fwd in solidarity. Proposed letter to museum that got nixed. Really broad, open visioning for goals, etc. OM doesn’t want it to become protest for hire, would like to have other voices. Contact me for info, don’t have date yet.
BY: Also Spring Awakening and Labor Assembly in Central Park this Sat.
MP: M1 statement.
MS: Have draft letter for op-ed, would like to get consensus.
ES: Alt econ proposal.
LS: Protocol proposal.
D: sculpture park.
BR: teachin for may 7 or 8 with Julia Bryan Wilson.
AS: talking about whether to make one giant banner for A&L.
D: debrief big meeting at Union Sq.
MP: okay, 10 min per proposal.
1. May 1 statement
MS: two ideas for M1: call to art/cultural workers; potential op-ed. Idea for latter came from ACT UP, op-ed by Larry Kramer published in March 1, 1987, day before their first march on Wall St. Addressed to FDA and gov’t. Separates ideological basis for ACT UP from DA that came later. Op-ed takes many issues from A&L and presents it in that form.
[CK offers to read out loud]
BR: support it happening as op-ed, question is follow-up, how is the group equipped to handle inquiries if it did get published. Can we think about whether we have a follow-up press plan? Not super equipped to deal with this in current protocol. Who will answer questions, will speaking gigs come up, etc.?
DG: Should add Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Hells Kitchen, to neighborhoods. Discussion around language of the strike. Understand 1970 art strike diff’t, don’t know if you could sub out diff’t language.
MS: “Art Strike” of 1970 already happened, that’s its historic name.
DG: concerned people will think we’re calling for a strike when we’re not.
K: Q about editing, streamlining for style, what’s the next step.
MS: we’ve got a thread going. If you have particular edits see me after.
AS: I love this, would like to add Harlem and Chelsea to locations.
RH: Will reply w/ edits later.
CK: With all the neighborhood naming, seems to be getting long. Doesn’t have to be exhaustive, can select representative language. Like the ending, call to art strike.
BY: I still like explaining why we’re doing what we’re doing in op-ed.
LB: Like the letter. Think we can get protocol up and running to deal with inquiries.
ES: Seems long hearing it, is length appropriate for newspaper? If too long, would push my vote to have two letters.
MS: Re: prior point, not cobbled together, synthesized. Lots of feedback but someone has to write the prose, difficult to just take yr ideas and write them up, would want specific edits and hopefully tonight. Also would need point person to talk to editor if there’s a chance it could get in. It would still be edited if it got in, would need someone to deal with that.
RH: process moving fwd. Are we testing this for consensus, that people offer edits by Fri?
DG: I trust people to move fwd with this. In ACT UP, Larry Kramer was trusted enough to write his letter without having consensus.
BR: Who are people who finalize it? How will sending it go?
MS: I can get it to the editor, can close it and send it. But can’t email it to the paper.
BY: I can be point person for sending it to newspaper, corresponding w/them.
IE: doesn’t it make sense to come from A&L email account?
BY: yes, will need access info.
MS: will send it to a friend who has op-ed contact, so we already have an in.
ES: so what is editing process?
MS: would ask everyone agree to Friday deadline. Would like people look at it tonight and give me specific changes rather than get on email list. Please object to any language or ideas you don’t want to see.
ES: so who incorporates the changes into the document?
MS: Me, BY or CK?
BR: There aren’t that many hard copies, so hard to mark them up, need way to contact later.
ASe: Think they’re asking for concrete ideas tonight.
MS: Yes, pre-internet writing workshop model, mark up the text tonight, go home to wrap it up.
MS: Friendly amendments?
ES: Check existing op-eds, try to match the length.
MP: Read the proposal?
LB: BY & MS point people for edits, want you to give them edits tonight, otherwise contact them before Friday 5PM deadline.
2. Alt Econ pamphlet
ES: First meeting of Alt Econ to answer Q what is A&L doing for artists? Resources list for housing, food, legal, advocacy. GG doc from 3 mo. ago. Maybe 12-15 contributed to it. Put deadline on it last meeting to get it formatted. Found site that makes it as booklet to download, print out. Also living doc on website to be updated quarterly. Another A&L doc to hand out.
RH: Talk about resources for solidarity economy and mutual aid, concerns raised online, but: started it as doc of alt resources, but grew into long list of institutions that haven’t all really been looked at. They haven’t been examined. A lot have been very helpful to a lot of us, but not clear on what the mission of the doc is. Mainly problem with artists residency list, not clear who’s included or why? Where do you draw the line on who’s included?
BR: After reading some convo online, think the intention is impt. Was first drawn to things I don’t know about. Got less interested when saw NYFA. Maybe we need a declaration to say we don’t necessarily endorse these orgs, sometimes we go to town on them, but they’re there.
RH: yes, that disclaimer already there.
CK: Made some crits on GG, but want to say how great it is as a resource. Issue about endorsement. Even if we disclaim it, even by listing it we’re giving it press/attention. Question how those decisions are being made, would like to contribute to those decisions if it goes to consensus.
RH: it’s also a living doc that can change.
LB: I have a problem with NYFA, we’ve gone after them for the intern issue. Other things, why aren’t food stamps on there? Are people not that broke? Why isn’t ISP on there? Again, why endorse some not others. But I guess it’s a living doc.
ASe: Q of what kind of resource we have. What if people start emailing us, wanting to be included, how do we manage that? Also, the objections seem to be around the state institutions, maybe that’s the criterion for what counts as alt economies. But I personally don’t have a problem with listing those institutions.
MS: Yeah, had a red flag on first residency, controlled by 1% real estate asshole, but problem of group writing. Think it’s great doc, and great response to Q what can A&L do for artists?
LS: Have been looking for this since Art in General took theirs down, would love to print them and dump them at schools. Also echoing ASe, who do we allow to update it?
IE: Q of deciding which orgs, maybe a color chart or asterisk, to categorize them or otherwise comment on things we disagree on.
AS: Don’t want us to stop larger work of getting this out based on problems members have with a few orgs. If people can look at it and tell Alt Econ the reason for any objection, trust them to edit it out if need be. Like phone/address book. Living doc, will need to be revisited. “Test these out and tell us what you think.”
K: Didn’t understand whether this was going to be a list online that has accompanying PDF you print out, or just print out?
ES: Former (both). My argument against politicizing it with asterisk or whatever: scratch the surface and you’re going to find stuff you don’t like at an art org. Everyone has diff’t experiences with diff’t orgs. If artists residencies are a problem, think we should remove the whole category rather than cherry pick. I think we’re against a practice that NYFA does, but not NYFA itself. Trojan horse: not objectionable on surface, but radical b/c expands the field from residencies to other mutual aid, etc.
BY: One solution to work of updating it regularly and question of how to deal with people wanting to be added would be to make it a wiki. People send in their own updates, maybe moderated by someone on A&L to prevent vandalism.
C: used to have job, where full time job was to make this kind resource for AIDS services. And had a lot of pushback on some orgs, told we should warn people. The point of the guide was to be as comprehensive as possible, but had little blurbs/descriptions with warnings on wait times, drawbacks, etc. Couldn’t diss on them, but did have little language to explain situation, worked well.
RH: proposal to stick to list of mutual aid resources, then have second list/section, of residencies or for-profit/nonprofit institutions, with proviso that they might be of use but they’re not endorsed or don’t fit w/in our mission. A separate category.
DG: Historical background: when NEA cut funds for individual artists, was working on similar book listing resources. Lobbied to keep funding for the guidebook. Up to 5 yrs ago, NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs, many states, would publish them. Less the case now. Foundation Center, which still gets money from states/feds, has list of grants/funding, tho they don’t have list of food, housing, etc. They might be open to adding these categories, could contact them.
MP: stack for clarifying questions?
K: Q from LS about funding for publishing the book, D mentioned other funding channels, can combine them somehow?
MP: Friendly amendments?
ASe: Maybe will come up as amendment, but suggest splitting it into: a) alt econ, b) other resources.
MP: Agree disclaimer doesn’t have a lot of weight, do want to keep NYFA, but we have letter to them online, let’s just add a link to it.
BR: Hear ES’s point about not politicizing what’s listed. But would try to politicize the disclaimer somehow. For future format, seems like it lends itself to online format, where people can comment on, perhaps something to be worked on in next round.
RH: Point of info: [reads booklet description, with disclaimer]. Suggest we include that as is. Then move to second section of “other resources” not necessarily part of solidarity economy.
CK: If not politicizing residencies, and still keeping category, would amend to include ISP.
AS: Q on differentiating categories.
ES: Solidarity economy is one, 501c3 is other category.
MS: Can you weight the listings so that inclusive things are listed first. Many residencies are very exclusive, hundreds of applicants for a few spots. Not that helpful.
ASe: Also split healthcare: “alt” and “other services.” clarify that “other” aren’t bartering/free, instead for-profit, etc.
LB: Friendly amendment similar to Rachel’s, have Medicaid and food stamps, which are free, included under auspices of “govt agencies.”
CK: Point of info: Met the woman from Woodhall Health, she’s just retiring. It really works, they’ll let artists do facepainting for kids in exchange for healthcare. ISP also allows people to work in exchange for tuition.
TJ: waived my tuition.
ES: but a dictatorship run by one person . . . Proposal withdrawn for now to take friendly amendments back to Alt Econ group.
MP: Temp check on love felt for the pamphlet?
3. Bryan-Wilson teach-in
BR: GS mentioned JBW will be in town, MS & I contacted her to do something. Available Monday, May 7 or Tuesday, May 8. Wants open discussion, not lecture. More informal, along lines of Gran Fury. Less interested in Art Workers book. More recent work along lines of craft and alt econ, gendered labor, other markets outside the art world. Enthusiastic. Asking to move fwd to finding a space and help finding structure of the evening.
DG: Space in Chelsea available.
BY: Can look into 16B for space.
ASe: could include knitters from OWS, craft-in everywhere? Altho they’ve been less active than in the winter. . .
MP: Friendly amendments?
ASe: can we try to move to place not at NYU?
BR: I accept that amendment.
4. Visioning session pt. 2
BR: want to see if there’s desire to continue convo we ended with. Can put up on GG something about another session.
LB: what is time frame? M1 coming, would vote late May.
CK: Wd be happy to do that, further down the road, still processing last week.
MP: Clarifying Qs?
ASe: time frame?
BR: mid to late May?
ASe: I think that’s way too soon.
BR: but want to continue with the happy stuff we ended with, not whole evening.
ASe: Oh, okay, thought it was redo of whole evening.
AS: Yes for part B, in a month sounds good.
MP: Friendly amendments?
LP: think it should be early june.
MS: I like sooner, want the vision for A&L without the debriefing, not just visioning for OWS.
BR: Visioning pt 2, focusing on visioning, with doodle poll on GG for dates from late May to early June?
5. Protocol doc
LS: group written and edited. up on GG, had some posts. propose that if people comfortable with gist we consense on it, with any further edits coming by Fri at 5. Also, on website, want to add line in section “Projects and Actions” that links to protocol.
BR: should it go under “About” too?
LS: thought that was too much.
MS: It’s so important. Is proposal to pass it tonight?
LS: With any edits forthcoming by Fri.
MS: Don’t know if I can move fwd on it, so many other things. Protocol issue arose on moving from GG announcement to private thread this week.
LS: Addressed in protocol doc. Have to have been at a meeting to be added to private thread.
MS: Sorry, it’s there.
LS: And it can change, can be added, modified. Everyone has concerns about it in meetings, no one responds afterwards. Want to move fwd on it.
CK: Thing with GG was a little sticky, but think it’s working. Announced thread, got email didn’t recognize, didn’t add it, until found out later who it was. Worked out.
MP: Think protocol is good, made good faith suggestion about wording of GG announcement, if it isn’t accepted, fine. Want to pass the protocol.
ASe: Trust the protocol worked out in doc, comes from OWS language, will stand aside from GG issues, since prefer face to face. Can these long graphs can be made into bullet points to make it easier to read?
LS: Maybe, but the language is pretty nuanced, don’t want to start monkeying with it.
ASe: Usability issue.
LB: I would say if you have criticism, then chip in and offer edit changes.
MP: Question? Concerns? Friendly amendments?
LB: Do want to look it over more. Do want to add asterisk to qualify that it’s living doc, up for editing and change, highlighted at front so it’s not imposing protocol in stone.
LS: Okay, proposal plus friendly amendments that ASe can offer edits, add living doc language to protocol.
6. Giant banner
AS: If there were giant banner for M1, what would we want it to say? Post on GG to brainstorm.
LB: Point of info, also have giant A&L banner from Duarte square.
MP: okay, save brainstorming for later? End meeting?