Stop Festivals And Corporations From Exploiting Artists!
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The undersigned, artists, muralists, community members and art supporters are outraged at the current climate for art and artists in Los Angeles. This petition began when an organization representing a music festival in Echo Park sent out a call for muralists. The organizers were asking the artists to pay a fee in order to live paint at this event. While this is only one event, it represents a much bigger problem that has gone unaddressed for too long. Major corporations ask artists to work for free or for "exposure" all the time. Companies with big money, companies who sponsor festivals. Everyone seems to see the value in murals, but for some reason there is a disconnect when it comes to paying the artists for their time, materials, and hard physical labor. There is no reason a corporation or festival should feel comfortable reaching out to someone and asking them to work for free.
The prospect of a community festival charging mural artists to participate in an event is ridiculous and was a catalyst for a much needed conversation. Muralists frequently risk their life and health to paint, exposing themselves to toxic materials, working on ladders in high temperatures, and using dangerous equipment. This model you are using sets a dangerous precedent for something that many of us depend on for our livelihoods.
In the past several years the climate has changed toward artists as big business aims to commodify culture while taking advantage of those who create it. We ask you to stand with us and not against us. We are part of your community. We paint the backgrounds for your selfies.
In rapidly gentrifying areas like Echo Park, artists are being priced out. Artists are the foundation of many communities, we create culture and are disregarded as rents go up. This is unacceptable, especially in an arts destination like Los Angeles. We ask that you support art and artists by discarding this predatory model and setting an example for other communities that art has value and should be treated as such.
Sincerely - The Artists and Art Supporters of Los Angeles
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