The Arts is essential and deserves inclusion in Job Keeper

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Acknowledge the Arts.

The $111.bn Arts Sector is not just being left behind, it’s being actively ignored. We are an industry of over 600,000 professional artists and workers and the vast majority of us are freelance or casual and will be ineligible for Job Keeper in spite of the fact that most of us have been working fulltime in the industry for years. We have failed to rate a mention in any of media interviews or online polls and statistics concerning employment compensation, yet our industry hasn’t just slowed it has vanished.

There seems to be a misconception that the Arts consists of celebrities, those on “big bucks”, famous people who live in mansions and own yachts. But we are an industry of workers. For every name you know there are thousands behind the scenes slogging it out to bring you the shows, music, theatre that you know and love. Take a moment one time to actually watch the whole credits on a film and see how many names are there, ALL of those people are being left behind. ALL of those people are falling through the cracks.

People in the Arts aren’t on big bucks. We work hard. Most of us live pay check to pay check, not feast, just short of famine. Professionals in the Arts have multiple jobs, we have projects lined up one after the other for as far in advance as we are able to book, often picking up smaller gigs to fill in gaps or just choosing not to sleep for a week in an attempt to build some kind of buffer to our income. We do this because we are passionate about our vocation, but it’s not a hobby, it’s a job. Just like everyone else, we need money to survive. And we WILL need money. Our industry was the first hit and it will be one of the very last to recover.

As you binge watch your next series, or listen to that song you love, or read that book, consider the people who made that happen. All of the artists and workers behind the scenes whose names you will probably never know. We are not doing it for the glory, and we certainly aren’t in it for the money, but if you want to see new content in the future – new shows, new music, live events – we will need *some* money. We need to be at least included in the discussions, to be considered at least on par with the people working in food courts or clothes shops.

We need to be seen. We need to be considered.

We are calling for acknowledgement of the Arts and inclusion for all Arts workers in the Job Keeper scheme.

The Arts is important and you’re going to want it in your future. Just imagine a lockdown without it.