Artists in Wales must be equitably paid!
The median for artists creative income lies at £1,750 with an additional £3,000 for those who earn outside of their creative income. “The median UK household income at the moment is £23,200, which means the official threshold for poverty in the UK is £13,920.” - The Guardian 2014. The average income from their creative work of £5,083 - those who have other income have an average from non-creative work of £4,907. 61% of artists find it difficult to make ends meet on the basics of living with 86% admitting to finding life stressful. 39% have been in arrears in the past twelve month period. These findings combine with a staggering list of constant issues: 91% rely on the NHS for their medical provision; 50% have had difficulties obtaining a mortgage and 83% finding it difficult to obtain car insurance. Of the 51% who have approached assistance, 73% have been required to retrain or apply for alternative jobs; 47% felt that they were treated differently because they were visual artists; and 33% were threatened with the removal of their benefits. All of the above is despite artists being amongst the highest educated sector in our society with 61% studying to a BA level, and 32% continuing to the Masters level. We ask that the Arts Council of Wales; Welsh Local Authorities; and The Welsh Assembly undertake to put in place policies which ensure that: Artists that they work with are paid equitably. Organisations, Events, Festivals that they fund are obliged to pay artists in an equitable manner as part of their funding conditions. This must be clearly evidenced in both applications and reporting. As one artist recently said "We are the event , the raw material, the foundation of these venues . I don't want to be grateful. I want to be paid.” Visual Artists Wales