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Artists With Benefits
Artists With Benefits

Episode 3 · 1 year ago

Episode 3: Who benefits? UBI, creative work and cultural policy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Live panel discussion of issues raised in previous episodes about creative work - with Heidi Ashton (University of Warwick), Stephen Brown (Musicians Union) and Mags Patten (Arts Council England) and guests. Including discussion of universal basic income, the 'intermittent' system for supporting French artists during periods of unemployment, the role of trade unions, hyperlocal ensembles. Who will benefit from policies designed to make creative work fairer - and who decides who will benefit?

Hello, I'm Chris Builton from University of Warwick and you're listening to episode three of the artist with benefits podcast. For this episode we recorded a live discussion on Microsoft teams, so some of the sound quality is a little bit dodgy. The idea was to reflect on some of the questions rate in previous episodes about creative work, in particular whether the welfare system, broadly defined, can make possible a more open, fair and sustainable creative economy. We started the discussion with comments from our panel Hidi Ashton, associate professor of Creative Industries at University of Warwick, Stephen Brown, regional organizer for the Musicians Union in the Midlands, and MAG's Patten, executive director of Public Policy and Communication at Arts Council England, with a particular interest in workforce diversity in the art sector. Aside from their day jobs, all three of our panel have experience working in the arts. Hidi is a dancer and choreographer, most recently working on the Netflix series bridget, and Stephen is a working musician and songwriter. Mags comes from a broadcasting background at channel or. We began with Hidi talking about what struck her in the previous podcast episodes. Firstly, questions about education and participation. Secondly, questions about the relationship between freelance artists and cultural institutions. What really struck me first and foremost was that in the kind of Norwegian context, in the Scottish context, there seemed to be a kind of fundamental and underlying understanding of the value and importance of participation in culture as participation in society, whether that's as an audience member or engaging in it as a participant and participating more kind of as were a cultural worker. That actually the kind of the cultural health of society was important and that seemed to underpin some of the more some of the more kind of progressive ideas around how the state can help that to flourish and function. And then so, I guess, a line to those two things that were there were two for me, two kind of separate areas, and one being kind of educations and part and pathways in and the other one being kind of cultural work. And in terms of education, it was interested here be here speaking about the different opportunities that used to be available to start things up, but also access to free education, and I think what that highlights for me is when we look at our education system now, our state education system in England and of course education being devolved in the UK anyway. So that would be different in other parts of the UK, but in England certainly there's a strong focus on stem. The eback that's coming has has moved the limited funding and resources that schools have from any kind of arts and creative subjects to be focused on the eback subjects, which completely you know obviously that arts are not and cultural subject and not included in those core eback subjects. So and that thing speaks to the value. So then what people think about what education is for and how your education is developed and how you are developed as a person functioning in society or being able to enjoy society and be a member of participation, your participation within that and your access to it is fundamentally then shaped by this idea that stem equals good arts and culture is, you know, fluffy, kind of Nice to have but not really important and that if you want you know, what you need is a proper job and that that term comes up again and again in the research, but it came up as well in the podcasts and and so I think there is a need as well for a kind of fundamental shift there in how we're valuing a right from the early age, early early years if you like, and and that with that being included in this kind of overriding idea of what welfare and benefits are. And it clearly is something that needs to be needs to start right at the beginning, because how do you have aspirations of people, particularly...

...them? I think Martin was talking about people in working classes that he was work with you who it's not even they hadn't even made that kind of lead to something that they can do. You know, it's something that's available, it's actually a job and in reality, of course, the cultural creative sector actually supports all kinds of jobs. I was on set the other day. There's construction workers, there's a kind of trades there, there's, you know that the technology that goes into make you of her it supports actually so many other jobs and so many other industries and I think that's not recognized or perhaps valued in a way that it could be, fundamentally from a young age and then kind of going on to kind of the the areas of work. So with my work with freelancers, there is certainly a problem with the relationship between organizations and freelance workers, and I think that came through in the podcasts in that so Simon was talking about the ways in which kind of the marketing and people who have to get the funding, like you know, to spend most of their time applying for grants, some funding, and how those jobs are having to be paid for, whilst the people creating the work and the the the artists themselves are freelancers and in some way kind of expendable, so that when we have a problem, they they're not included as the core activity of these big institutions that are funded and and that actually goes across both the the the kind of subsidized sector and the commercial sector. And so there is a need for some legislation to protect workers and to maybe redefine what freelance means and what those rights are. And so because, as I think came through in those podcasts, a lot of the work and certainly the training that is required to go into these industries and the hidden work in the research that they do, the amount of jobs that they have to apply for, the work that they're doing behind the scenes to get the work, and none of that is then compensated. So there was as just as an example to try and kind of bring into something and put that people can relate to. You. There was an issue with the dancers at the Royal Opera House, in the Opera Company, so not in the ballet company, but in the Opera Company. They're all freelance dancers and at one point they're getting paid less than the box office stuff. So there isn't any way to say that actually, your ten years of training to become a professional dancer is actually worth something. Is It's worth? It's worth something in the job market in terms of being able to then afford to continue their training and because their athletes, they need to go to class and it costs the money to go to class, to keep up their their physical abilities and to maintain that and to get the next job. And and none of that is kind of recognized currently and I think we need to find a way to recognize that within the structures. And one of those mentioned was the kind of ensemble structure. So you did have people who were part of an ensemble so that the creative workers were embedded as as kind of full time workers, and some of the work that I've been doing with with mark lie packer is is around the idea of hyper local ensembles, which is it's just more kind of German model where you would have an ensemble, of a theater ensemble perhaps, or it could be any kind of ensemble, who are working and and producing and creating work that is relevant to the community and involves the community in the community are embedded in it in various different ways, but those workers are actually salaried rather than being just brought in on a freelance basis. So I think there are different ways that need to involve all kinds of things. So part of that might be well fair and benefits. Parts of that is the ways in which the subsidiety, the subsidy, has spent and and the protections around those subsidies. But part of it as well is about, I think, legislation and how, because what we don't want to end up doing is just having a system whereby we're subsidizing companies to make money by allowing them to pay work is less and then and then having the the you know, the government, pick up the TAB for so they can live and so that they can pay their rent. That that can't be the solution. So the solution needs to kind of be more holistic, I guess, as what I'm saying. But I'm sure there are other people. I see Natalie's here from the Creative Industries Federation and Trevor His here, so there there are other people, I'm sure, who can contribute more on on those kind...

...of issues. Brilliant. Thank you very much. How you. That's that's really useful and some good talking points already. For those of you who don't know who these people are, the panel consists of Hidi Ashton, whose assistant professor of Creative Industries at University Warwick, Steven Brown, who's the regional organizer for the Musicians Union for the Midlands, and Max Patton, who's the executive director of public politying community Cations, but with a focus on diversity, workforce diversity at the Arts Council England. So, Stephen, over to you. Thank you, Chris. Yeah, for my sins, I'm also the chair of the Cultural and Leisure Industries Committee that we have through the Tu see in the Midlands. So I guess I'm going to try and wear two hats, but my preoccupation, I guess, will be with the plight of musicians and kind of in putting into the subject. On that basis, I was really interested listening to to the to podcasts and I think the first podcast actually nailed a lot of the issues. So I'm going to try, but probably beyond successful, in repeating some of those issues that were raised. And I had a bit of a stream of consciousness when I was listening to the two podcasts and I've written some notes down here and I don't I'm a little bit of a devil because, like every time I write notes down or do a speech for a conference or one of these things, I tend to go off pieced a little bit. So if I do do that, apologies, but I will try and bring it back into the subject matter because I think it, you know, it is kind of relevant really in a lot of ways. At the top of my list really in all of this in in capital letters, the words talent pipeline, and I think that's where the biggest crisis in the industry kind of exists. It's the biggest challenge, and highly touched on some of it in terms of education, and I'll come on to that, but that's one of my primary concerns. How we get people into the industry, give them opportunities and when they are within the industry, how that industry kind of behaves in the sense that it needs to be equal and fair, and what the pay rates are like and what the support is. So that kind of a quality of access to a career and the opportunities to get into the career are quite important, both from a personal perspective and from, you know, a wider Mu and TUC perspective. And I say that on the basis that I'm a product really of Birmingham music education in the late s and early s, where I learned to play trumpet and played in brass bands, got fed up with planning brass bands picked up a guitar, but the structure and knowledge that I'd learned from my music education as kind of led me to where I am now. I've had all those precarious jobs, you know, the the insecure work afterne agency jobs to try and maintain a music career and here I am now as a regional organizer in probably the first decent paid job I've had in a very long time, and I think you know that that's an important thing that we should we should consider in all of this really because it doesn't exist anymore in the way that it did when I was at school and growing up and learning instruments, even though later I changed instruments and it you know, it's led me to go all over the world playing songwriting and composing and I'm really concerned that a lot of those opportunities are now not there for younger people, particularly from disadvantaged communities. And of course we've had ten years of government austerity, which hasn't helped one little bit. It's had a massive impact on our sector, not just musicians, but you know, if you speak to back to the tech's union or equity, the Actors Union, it's had a massive impact upon them as well, and I wrote a report to bar it for the tea you see at the end of last year on the challenges that the Midlands faces really and the loss of income and the financial damage and career damage that it's done because, you know, forty percent of our members didn't get any help whatsoever from government schemes and you know, it's kind of exacerbated and accelerated the issues of like music being seen as a sideline and highely mentioned, you know, get a real job. That kind of equation and it's exactly what my arm and said to me, what my dad said to me, you know, and I embarked on my music career. So, you know, societal attitudes are actually quite important in all of this.

But when you've got people at the top of their game in their career who played symphony orchestras as freelancers, you know, ending not working in care homes for less than ten quid an hour, it's quite disturbing as a trade unionist to see that and I think as a society we should be quite concerned about that from a cultural perspective, you know, and the level at which we we operate as a society as well, because I think we punch well above our weight as a country in terms of our cultural offer and I think that's a that's at risk. Public Policy, I think, is vital in all of this and the support models of public policy it can offer, you know, and I don't think that's just about education, it's about roots into the industry, it's about supporting people once they're in the industry. I mean years ago, when the national lottery first started, my own band took advantage of some national lottery money and we used it to do it, to a to take what we what we were doing at that particular time, which is a particular form of folk music, out to communities, and it paid, you know, for all the transport costs, the kind of income cost that we would need to be able to do that that we wouldn't have otherwise done, and it's it's kind of schemes like that that, I think, our vital. It would be obvious for me to say as a trade unionist, then you know that the thing that we haven't talked about is collective bargaining and the impact that trade unions can have on the sector. The M you likewise with back to and equity, has collected bargain agreements not only with employers that employ employees. You know, in my sector, music, it will be symphony orchestras, for example. Anywhere from the Royal Opera House to the BBC, to Birmingham raw ballet to the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, we've got collected bargain agreements that cover pay terms and conditions and even though that pay has been a roaded because they're, you know, in a big way dependent on kind of public funding from the government, which has been cut. At least, you know, I can say with my hand in my heart, if people do end up in a job like that, at least they know that their terms and conditions are going to be predicted by by trade union collective bargaining. And to an extent that's also extended to freelance orchestras, because we have agreements that cover free lancers and freelance orchestras, as we do in the recording industry, the film and TV industry and theater and the West End. So that, for me, is very important. I was involved in coming back to public policy, draft in a document called the cultural manifesto. That he you see, cultural manifesto, which designs six key principles really in terms of public policy in I'll just quickly read them out to you, because there is a general context to this boils. It's also relative to the Midlands because it's specific to the Midlands issues, because we don't have any film and TV studio facilities within the Midlands Anymore. BBC Shut it down, ITV shut it down and you know, we've heard, we've probably a male or may not be aware of the peeky blinders and Steven night and all that, the actual provision of a Studio Facility, Film and TV Studio Facility within the Midlands, I think is cultural to the sustainable is important to the sustainability of a career, not just for musicians but also for actors, you know, and those people involved on the technical and construction side. And whilst there was all that, who are about Channel Four moving, it doesn't necessarily mean that those jobs in the sector that would exist in the Midlands, for example, if something was brought here but it wasn't ultimately would be based here. You know, it's still be stuff that's made in London and they just got an admin center wherever it is they have. It now. Leads, I think, so, the six principles that we had in our cult from Manifesto Midlands Film and Television Studio Facility, trade union recognition and implementation of negotiated agreements as a condition of public funding and integrated local government policy framework to support live venues, festivals and street performers, including infrastructure, public transport, regulatory framework, etc. And increase in public spending on the arts in the Midlands until per cap. It's a regional art spending summer par with London. We did a bit of research and I think the spending, public spending per head of population in the Midlands is something like four pounds sixty three, whereas in London it's something like sixty nine pounds ahead. So there's a massive financial difference between what goes on in London and the regions, particularly the Midlands, which is one of the poorest...

...funded areas when it comes to cultural spend by government and local authorities etc. Secure properly paid professional employment for cultural workers and arts educators, local control of aught all art spending in the region, including ice money's. There's some of that and I think it it came up in the podcasts, was about what local authorities or town councils or metropolitan mayor's can do to facilitate, you know, cultural activities being supported, both professional and participative in in their own regions. So finally, I guess my last point really is it's a bit out there and I don't think it's kind of been part of these discussions. It's about sustainability and the green agenda. We just had our EMU conference last week and there were a number of notable motions that came up from our members. What was about UBI universal basic income and the union supporting that. So now we've got a policy to do so. The other ones about tax incentives or tax changes for freelancers and how a system might be accommodated to support free lancers in that way. And I think that are similar schemes that the movers of emotions at any conference had in mind, schemes in France and I think Ireland for example, and highly touched on this as well, about how that will impact and future policy on employment and self employment rights. But all of this is kind of it weren't amounts to a hill of beans if we haven't got a planet to live on, and lots of our delegate said t shirts that said no music on a dead planet, you know. And we have situations where our members, and I'm sure this is true across the creative sector, to thousands and thousands and thousands of miles every year just to do a Gig or to work in a theater, and you have to ask the question, how sustainable is that and how does it draw sustainable careers to particular regions? And I think that's another area that needs to be addressed that's quite important in all of this. How do we support local regional cultural activity so people living in those areas can sust sign a career. And that's my stream of consciousness. I thank you for listening. Our final panelist is mags pattern, executive director of public policy and communication at art council England. At the start of the weather now we ran a poll where we asked participants would a universal basic income open up career paths into the cultural sector? Fifteen people responded yes. Nobody said no, although a few people responded yes but and wanted to clarify that this was a real universal basic income for all, as opposed to, for example, the targeted schemes for artists being developed in Ireland. I started off by asking mags for her take on UBI from an art policy perspective. I think it's fascinated to policy thinkers because of its attractions bosus ideologically from a left in the right, but it's also, you know, it is it is one of those big ideas that that maybe we'll look back on one day ago. Yes, that was the moment where where things tipped towards it, in the way that maybe the the welfare state was tipped towards post war or whatever. But that maybe in reality we're not there yet. So I guess I think the point I make about it is that, as well as all of those actual experiments, I can Finland, etc. Etc. That are being done about you be, I think, the lots of really interesting natural experiments and it feels like a rich in fertile ground for for academics to look at. Because if you're building evidence base and the arguments towards towards it, and I do believe that that some kind of mechanism like that would support a more sustainable cultural sector eventually, is that you do need that evidence to make to make the arguments from it. So I mean I know foot just to take, for example, program that the arts cats because I'm a bit more familiar with it than others, program that the arts council has developing your creative practice, which which supports, which supports artist not to do projects but but literally develop. I mean I think that's potentially a really interesting expert area to s for the behaviors and incentives that sit around a kind of a universal income. So if you talk to recipients of developing your creative practice, of the talk obviously about that fundamental idea of removing risk and of being given confidence and...

...validation, but also that they are able to use it to invest in creative skills and business skills and to invest in building their networks. But most of all, and in some of the conversations I've had, that sort of said, it buys me time and it feels like these are sorts of valuable, sometimes quite qualitative things that that you can obviously measure and capture. That all benefits of of that sort of underpinning support that, that feel like that there is a you know, the ACADEM has a lot to contribute, I think, in terms of helping us understand a bit of build the arguments for and I think that's kind of all I wanted to say about UBI, because I definitely I'm I'm never expert in all the various different mechanisms and drivers of it, although I think it's fascinating. So I think the point I was going to make in response to the podcast, which were excellent and gave me a much a really enjoyables that couple of hours away from decision making, relate really to my response to my areas of interest, but both responsibility at the Arts Council. I'm kind of I'm almost almost the exception in the sense that my background is is not it is much more in public policy than it is grounded in the septual though I have worked in the sector for a short time as well. To my interest is in more in the public's policy space and the equality space, and I suppose that's where I'm I'm coming at this more than that the many of my other colleagues might send. My concern and interest is in the whole workforce ecology and looking at it particularly through a fairness and equality lens and so parts. So I probably the two things that I wanted to sort of it emits a bit of a challenge to to one point made in the podcast and then I wanted to kind of resoundingly liment me agree with another aspect of it. So so the challenge, I think for me, was a bit about the point was made about the division of employees into institutional workers and freelancers within the sector. Now, of course that is a that is a, you know, classifiable reality. But I think the point I wanted to make is that I think that there's generally an our under investment in it, in people and talent over overall, and specifically within support services, within cultural institutions. That so it may might feel a bit counterintuitive to pity the HR team, but I think if we believe in people in terms of their humans, social, cultural and economic capital, we absolutely need to invest in them and and that includes people who are in house and freelance within an organization's orbit. And I think that leads you perhaps to an argument they're about more what we need to see more mergers of backroom services and things across organizations, not necessarily for efficiencies but actually to support the value of the workforce. For me, in a sense the imbalance is perhaps less between people and more, historically, in investment in physical capital, as is human capital, and I'm using I'm using that term human capital loosening, not in the a narrow confindce of the economic the economist meaning they're I think my second point is a bit more about vivent agreements, and that was around place. I thought it was really in site from an important discussion about about place. But I think, and I think we really need to think about place in terms of the diverse, diverse needs of workers. As a fantastic peck paper by Professor Nick Henry and colleagues from country and Warwick on peck website and I was really struck by the the work they've done to produce a taxonomy of freelancers as a way of recognizing that complexity and thinking about how you might respond to it in policy terms. So so for example, and I would go through the whole taxonomy, it's it's a great paper if people haven't already had had a look at it. But a couple of examples. One was the idea of the community created, as they labeled it, which was also came out very strongly in the podcast as in a censer, as an opportunity. I think that clearly already exists within our world. We already have amazing artist working communities and Co creating and it's an important group working on social and world being outcomes and phaps ecology is a is a bit less dissumptional their art is deeply embedded, as a say, co creating, doing, doing, doing extraordinary stuff. I think the opportunity there is that the wider public policy environment is starting to see that opportunity and to start to create the drawn ups of the Jigsaw that we need to to grow that that that piece of the taxonomy, if you like, so tangibly seeing increased NHS investments and in health and wellbeing communities and seeking are...

...and cultures as a route to improve health outcomes. Another example from the taxonomy, taxonomy that they they that they created, is it's so it's really hard to say, but precarious project here is and and obviously a group characterized as a struggling with contracting and fees issues and moving parts from project project but not necessarily building towards anything, for example in terms of social capital in a place. And I think it feels to me, with my workforce hat on, that we do need to understand this group more, I think, because that may be the people that we are losing at this point and making as solptions here, but quite likely from less well off backgrounds, quite likely, maybe more likely, to be disabled or from an ethnic minority background. So there's a question for people like me about what the policy and institutional responses for them, you know, especially free lancers that don't necessarily want to work in at embedded community context. We do need an ecology that creates opportunities at all scales. So I'm just going to summarize a little bit by trying to trying to get into solutions, of which I haven't got all of them by by any means obviously, and a lot of the policy solutions again need to take place at different scales and levels as clearly horizontal measures that government needs to address about the structural work and things. But if we're talking about an institutional solution, I thought I'd cite the Factory Academy in Manchester as an interesting example and that that you may be aware of. That is associated with the factory project in the Manchester International Festival. And what's interesting about it, that's that's that's different, is that it the funding model. Embedded within the funding model is workforce development across and it's for workforce development across the place and that is built into the model and that means that the festival work together with the factory built. It's sort of the factory itself. What's going with home, with Manchester Jewish Museum, with the Palace Theater and many more across the both the publicly funded in the and the commercial sector, to kind of create glue that that enables more workforce placements, paid placements and apprenticeships. And I think there's an interesting question for me about where the programs like the academy could also become focal points and networks to support some of that freelance pre carry out more as well. Just quickly, then, a couple of policy responses as well well. From our you know, from our see, you know what we think at the arts huts we need to do in terms of these challenges. I mean in the big picture, I think we we've absolutely recognized, and and Covid as as revealed the vulnerabilities in the workforce, someone which became a bit more obvious because of it, and I think the direction of our new strategy is important because there is a real focus on the ecology and workforce and development within the new strategy and having a strategic response means that we can then orientate more of our programs towards that work. A couple of specifics I might cite is the increased investment we've made in creative practitioners and our artists over this year, which I think subject of future spending reviews were committed to. I think an interesting question for us is about governance of organizations in future and emerging forms of governments, and I think someone earlier mentioned assemblages and coops and how could we as the arts counsel perhaps relate to these sort of government, this governance model better, because that would help the sorientate off funding processes. And I think we, you know, we have a job to do to think about interventions into what is after all a very complex system where, and I mentioned blue before, but I think where we can try include things together and help. So, for example, we had a recently invested in the Creative Industries Federation, screen skills and CC skills creative careers campaign, because we know one of the problems with the pipeline that Steven mentioned is that is that lack of high quality careers in it information to help people make the leap both from higher education but, as a passionate governor of a Faffee College, also from further education created production training into the sector. So sorry, that's a bit golibled as well and a bit probably available, but a lot of thoughts that I hope was sort of interesting through into the mix. After the panel had their say, we opened up a wider discussion with contributions from Webinar participants. We didn't have...

...time to include everybody in the discussion but here are a few of the highlights. First of all, does universal basic income UBI offer a respite from the divide and rule of targeted subdidies and schemes? Stephen Brown argues that in the music industry, without some system of regulation and support, there will be a race to the bottom. One of the issues that creative workers have, and we see this, you know, amongst our members. If there is a project to be done, it becomes a little bit of a bidding war between members about who might get that project, to who might get that Gig. So it becomes a race to the bottom, and I talked about, you know, collective bargaining in those sectors that are regulated, but there's a whole sector out there that isn't regulated. You know, you still got people doing gigs and trying to further their own career, get an offered fifty quid or sixty quid by a pub and that having to do that kind of every night of the week just to sustain and musicians, you know in particular, a great collaborative working and working as a team and creating and writing music and stuff like that, but at the same time they're also business competitors, aren't they? and that creates its own issues because if they're already desperate for work and there's no support mechanisms, what are they going to do? They're going to try and undercut each other and I think that's why when we talk about things like universal basic income, it's it's actually quite a critical conversation because it would give a flaw for creative people to know that they've got that income coming in. Hopefully it would be set, you know, a at a reasonable rate to enable them to pursue, you know, the career that they enjoy rather than having to do something that they endure. You know, like a lot of my members, I've driven delivery vans and worked in a sorting office and, you know, worked in awaress and do all those kind of things and they absolutely mentally and physically drained you and put you in a position where you just don't feel able to create. So I think we need to bear that in mind when we have this conversation about the intercompetition between creatives and the negative aspects that can bring about if there is zero regulation of that market. Sally and gross is a lecture and Music Business Management at University of Westminster, as well as being a music producer. Any system of welfare and UBI for artists will have to deal with questions of regulation and evaluation. So Sally asks us to consider what are the criteria for gaining access to the industry, so called talent pipeline? Who Decides who is in and who is out? If we open the pipeline to everybody, is there enough work to go around? And if we narrow the pipeline, who gets left out? What are the entry criteria and who decides them? My kind of thoughts here are about the relationship between the idea of regulation and under regulation. I take it to mean what we who what we and who we define as creatives. Who would be these people that would receive these benefits? I very much question what really goes on when we say the pipeline, because I my course, I can say to anyone applied to the music industry don't I can describe it as one of the worst places to work, as unequal, unjust desperately wanting in Inter and I get more and more students of a year. Never had as many students I have now. I simply can't deal with the numbers of students that applying. During a music business management, when clearly you don't need one to work in the music industry. So there's a very odd thing going on here that has a lot to do with historic, historic ideas about access. But who gets to be where and where? So I thought it was just on a kind of really just superficial, not superficial work, but kind of very interesting level, that we started talking about orchestras very quickly. Well, my background is in Rave and drum and bass and rave culture and electronic music and, what you know, running a DJ agency from a kitchen with my kids running around. So I come from a very, very different place and this is a very, very different world in which creatives aren't working in what we might call high culture, but they aren't working locally in the way we imagine locally, but they are still local, because grind culture is absolutely local. So that so I'm interested here in what we mean when we say regulation. How might we imagine evaluation if we are to say there will be entry points because there...

...is no shortage of supply in this industry? We are overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed by music. By usually thirty in the morning I've already had I can't tell you how many hours and how many people have always sent any music. This morning. I'm also I'm also a trustee on the Ivor's academy on the part of women in control, and I also run the rich and a try scholarship that's been running for four years to bring black, young black creatives into the music industry. So I've been working in the kind of social dust is diversity area for the loss, actively very much the last and I also rather think called let's change the record, which is for women in music production. So I'm very well aware of what these problems are on I've and also, as Chris knows, I run a record label in Paris and have worked in France the last twenty years. So I'm very familiar with intermitten, which is a system of redistribution of income for Artists Right which I have benefited from myself as the producer of music in France. Right say, intimittal does work, but it also excludes lots of people, and yesterday I was talking to a hip hop group in Marseille and they're excluded for various reasons. So if we're talking about futures of work in creative industries, I think we need to think about what regulation will mean. I think we want to think about what evaluation would mean and then we want to think about what is the benefit to the local community? Who? What is it the local community wants and how would we because in a way this is all about reaching redistribution of wealth. Cultural Wealth, holistic well being, mental health, all of these things we know. Music Culture does people good. How do we increase that flourishing? which will it demands redistribution when we have to think about it in those terms. Susan Jones is an independent researcher and activist who advocates for visual artists. She shares some of Sally Ann's concerns about evaluation regulation. In any system of targeted support there will be winners and losers. In the end it becomes a question of value. How do we value creative work and are some workers valued more highly than others? Susan argues that visual artists in particular have been undervalued or overlooked by policymakers. The trouble with doing it from the policy perspective is that you know, pigeons only see pigeons. And I looked a lot at how policy tackled inequality and aspirations for fairness and so on over maybe a forty year period. But I think actually the most telling thing is what happens in covid which did exactly what he did always done, which is kind of lead the freelancers on a limb until somebody did something, you know, whatever that happened to be. The fact that, for example, the the parameters for applying for emergency funding from the Arts Council automatically excluded the vast majority of visual artists because of the fifty percent and income rule wasn't unknown to the Arts Council. Had done research in it knew it, but it's still allowed that to happen in it and and that happens in government. So which meant that seventy five percent of visual artists were ineligible to apply. Those things are avoidable with good quality information at the top. But they weren't avoided and they still aren't being avoided and universal basic income will keep putting that eluster plaster put up on the broken leg. What we have now is actually no more visual artist than there were in the s when, in fact a lot of artists could sign on and seventy five percent of visual artists could do parttime teaching, but what we have created is a huge use ways of professional activity, without whom, apparently, artist can't exist. So, just in short, I think what I would say who defines what is important and what enables the supply, and who is in fact self serving by maintaining an institutional structure? If we really want to get to the group of creative and human flourishing, we really have to examine where the excess is and not seek to put a bit more kind of e couse, a little bit more money to a few people in an impoverished sector. Perhaps we shouldn't be looking to policy makers to solve the problems of creative work. Stephen argues that artists need to work together to set up collective bargaining agreements, assuming of course, that the artist unions are powerful enough to bring everybody to the table. I would say that government give and government take...

...away. You know, we've seen that since the S and I think the problem with relying on public policy and government is they do take things away. And when Sally talked about what we mean by regulation, I guess my view as a trade unionist is that over the years trade unions, trade unions of kind of surrendered too much of their collective power really in response to government policy by relying on the law rather than, you know, the power of the workers that they organized. So when I personally talk about regulation of a sector, it is about empowering workers to take ownership of the issues, organizing and trying to get collective bargaining in place, whether that's in, you know, the freelance sector or the employed sector. And I absolutely take on board what Sally said about, you know, the localism of the grime scene and by talking about orchestras, I wasn't meaning to diminish that, because we do speak to grime artists, you know, and they have exactly the same problems when it comes to contractual matters, working with each other or record in that every other part of the industry has. So that's what I mean by regulation. And yet government give, government takes away, and I think the answer is in our own hands to, you know, champion a lot of these issues and work together to get a better system. After Stephen, I gave a final word to each of our two other panelists. Here's some closing thoughts from Mag's pattern from the arts council. I'm going to agree with Steven Really, which is that that. You know, we live in an extremely individualist society, but we've seen the power of the collective through through covid. The collective conversations we've been able to have a particularly with free lance artists and workers throughout this periods has been powerful and important, and so how we can advocate for the collective, I think, and how that can work through different mechanisms is is important. But thank you for a really stimulating conversation today. I've but I also I really enjoyed hearing about the French context and antem. Let's all. I look forward to reading more about that, I think. And finally here's Heidi Ashton from University of Warwick. I guess there's never going to be a silver bullet. There's never going to be one solution and I think any system that comes in needs to have an element of flexibility, but it also needs to be joined up. It kind of it. We can't have just one thing and then hope that that's going to fix everything else when actually the system, as you said right at the beginning, is a system itself that it's not working. So so anything that comes that comes forward, it isn't going to be perfect. It is never going to be perfect. There are always going to be unintended consequences, but then it's about continuing the conversations and and then rethinking and rethinking and having an element of flexibility. But that does again require people to understand or to two things to be valued in society, and I think that's where even the French system, I think, is their underpinning, that is this kind of fundamental understanding and value for what the culture and creative sector and what it brings to society and to us as people. We started this podcast series with a question. Could the benefits and welfare system lead to a fairer and more sustainable approach to creative work? Well, the answer seems to be that UBI could be a solution leveling the playing field for new talent and providing the time and space for creative flourishing for every artist and every citizen, an opportunity to do the work you enjoy, not the job you endure. But once you try to apply this as a cultural policy, some familiar problems come up. Who Will Benefit from this policy? How do you regulate or credential the recipients? Will institutions and intermediaries win out over individuals? Or is the solution to look at collective bargaining and mutual schemes coming not from government regulation or subsidy, but from artists themselves working together? Whichever way this debate goes, they remain, as highly suggested, some fundamental questions about how we define and value creativity, creative work and artists. Only when we have some consensus on what we mean by these terms can we start setting up policies to support them. You've been listening to the artists with benefits podcast with me, Chris Builton. I'd like to thank the panel, Hidie Ashton, Stephen Brown and Max Pattern. Thanks also to everybody who attended the Webinar and...

...took part in the discussion. Thanks to Mike Ratchinsky at Boutique recording for producing this episode and for the music, and thanks to the University of Warwick Productivity in the future of work GRP for supporting us, and thank you for listening. If you would like to find out more about our research at University of Warwick into the future of work in the creative industries, please contact Chris Builton see dot built and at Warwick DOT AC DOT UK.

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