Status and Working Conditions for Artists, Cultural and Creative Professionals

A silhouette of a person talking outdoors on a phone. They are blurry and indistinct. Layered onto the photo, a Jackson Pollock riot of orange and yellow paint - a firestorm.

The Status and Working Conditions for Artists, Cultural and Creative Professionals report is the result of a brainstorming meeting organised by Voices of Culture on 27-28 April 2021. It was presented to the European Commission in a Dialogue Meeting on 29 June 2021.

Among chapters on the legal status of artists, their financial situations (encompassing fair pay, collective bargaining, intellectual property, etc.), and research and lifelong learning, there is also a chapter dedicated to mobility.

Recently, artists, cultural and creative workers have been deprived of exchange opportunities, inspiration, learning and ability to bring their cultural and creative content and experiences to audiences. Thus, return to mobility for artists, cultural and creative workers will be an essential element for post-pandemic recovery. The pandemic has not only halted almost all international travels, it has also led to the suspension of funds for touring and individual mobility of all sorts.

Mobility is a central aspect of artistic practice. Whereas creativity is used to open up new perspectives and create impulses, mental and spatial mobility is fundamental. The gathering and processing of new impressions, the exchange with foreign cultures and the continuous shifting of one’s own point of view and perspective have always been part of artistic work. Mobility can also be an important factor in contributing to a continuous income for artists, cultural and creative workers and organisations, especially in countries with smaller internal markets for the arts.

Mobility of artists and cultural professionals is essential, but the pandemic has almost brought it to a complete standstill. It has, however, also created time and space to reflect on how mobility of artists and cultural professionals intersects with acute issues such as climate change, equity, well-being, and artistic development. It is time to reflect on the infrastructure, systems and policies that affect cultural mobility and through which artist mobility is supported. There is an evident urge in the sector to rethink mobility in more sustainable terms. Sustainability is understood in a holistic way: not only ecological, but also artistic, economic, and human sustainability - with all these aspects being closely interconnected.

For more information and opportunities related to green mobility, you can also check the GALA Funding Guide for Arts and Culture Projects Related to Environmental Sustainability.