Art Dirt: Discussing the Rise of Art & Culture Worker Unions, with Guest Darryl Ratcliff

by Glasstire November 5, 2023
A group of people holding pro-union signs rallies outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Museum of Art staff and their supporters rally outside the museum in 2022.
Photo: Tim Tiebout

Jessica Fuentes talks with Dallas’ Darryl Ratcliff about the rise of unions for arts and culture workers.

“Ultimately, we’re all served by a more engaged public, and we’re all served by taking care of people. And I know that our large institutions and their supporters want to do that, and sometimes it is up to us as artists, as culture workers, as people who are more on the ground, to help lead the way.”

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Related Readings:
Two Texas Writers Awarded $50,000 Rabkin Prize; Peter Schjeldahl Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
NYT: U.S. Museums See Rise in Unions Even as Labor Movement Slumps
The Art Newspaper: State of the unions: why US museum workers are mobilising against their employers
NYT: Guggenheim Museum Staff Ratifies Union Contract
Artforum: Museums and Unionization
American Alliance of Museums: National Museum Salary Survey
Glasstire: Dallas Museum of Art Lays Off 8% of its Staff; Reduces Public Hours
Glasstire: Art Dirt: Radical Transparency & the Arts Salary Spreadsheet
Glasstire: Cedars Union Becomes First W.A.G.E. Certified Dallas Organization
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Artists & Cultural Workers Union Interest Form


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carolyn November 5, 2023 - 13:11

I’m no expert on this topic, but another worthwhile, related reading might be Julia Bryan-Wilson’s “Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era” (U. of California, 2009, named a best book of the year by the New York Times and Artforum; see ). “She traces the divergent ways in which… artists and writers rallied around the “art worker” identity, including participating in the Art Workers’ Coalition―a short-lived organization founded in 1969 to protest the war and agitate for artists’ rights―and the New York Art Strike.”

Salvador November 16, 2023 - 09:32

Where’s the acknowledgement & support of the creative workers at Say Si and their efforts in unionizing?


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