8 September 2017

Fair Practice in the arts

On 2 and 3 October, DutchCulture received a delegation of fair practice campaigners from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

From 22 September, Veem Huis voor Performance will be open for 100 days a year, instead of all year round.

Fair practice refers to a better labour market position for artists and fair business practices on the part of commissioning clients.  A first version of the Dutch Fair Practice Code was presented on 3 October at a meeting of Kunsten ’92 in Veem Huis voor Performance (Amsterdam). The Fair Practice Code was drawn up jointly by makers, employers, trade unions, professional groups and other partners in the creative and cultural sectors, following an April report by the Netherlands’ Council for Culture and Social and Economic Council.

International perspective
Efforts to improve the changeable and often precarious position of the cultural maker on the labour market are also underway internationally. While the cultural infrastructure varies from country to country, the financial crisis and the subsequent cuts have clearly had an impact on art and culture, and especially on the individual maker, in all countries.

DutchCulture invited international fair practice initiatives in various stages of development or implementation to convene on 2 and 3 October.  By combining and exchanging perspectives and expertise, we hope to build an international overview of the different ways in which a Fair Practice Code for artists can be implemented in practice.

Label, tool kit and guide
In Belgium, for example, the artists’ collective State of the Arts is already promoting a national Fair Practice Label. The British Paying Artists campaign resulted in a clear tool kit for British artists and clients. In Germany, a vigorous lobby has managed to tighten the criteria of local funds, while the Swedish Reko compiled a list of the fairest commissioning clients in the cultural sector, back in 2011 already. What can the Netherlands learn from these experiences, and what can international efforts learn from the Netherlands? Read the first version of the Fair Practice Code here.

Organisers: Kunsten ’92, Veem Huis voor Performance, DutchCulture, Nederlands Theaterfestival/Nieuwe Grond.