Monday, 15 February 2021

So, social prescribing is a hot topic.

People want to know what works and what doesn't. I'm currently highlighting parts from A Restless Art to identify this. 

My colour code is 

Blue: Positive

Yellow: Negative 

Green: Important / information 

Pink: Relevant information that is applied to my work

Purple: A statement where the opposite is true in my own experience

Here's a list:

What works:

1. Artists determining our own requirements for equipment, materials and time costs, and having the funds to source our own, not having some organisation going "we have materials x, x and x, so we don't have funding for materials."

2. Not having to apply for funding, but when organisations have been successful in applying for funding, approaching me to commission workshops. "Hi, we need a qualified artist to run some workshops, would you be available to run a series of your workshops for us?"

3. Organisations looking at my workshop costs, and thinking "our budget is only £500, we can fund two of them". But I still run two workshops and I am paid properly, so that's fine.

Or "Our budget is higher, and we are regularly funded, so let's pay Helen to run her workshops, because she's an expert in her field", and not getting an amateur to run them for free whilst keeping the extra funding for themselves. (See blog link for an example of grifting, which is a severe problem in Lincoln for artists.)

4. Organisations that specifically choose to fund my workshops to stop Lincoln Art Ninjas from destroying my career.

5. Anyone that provides a free iMac. Thanks to City Of Lincoln Council for the Business Revival Grant 2021, which was used to purchase a new iMac, Creative Cloud software, and a new camera etc.

6. Being paid on time. Being paid enough to not need to rely on welfare or have welfare reduced. 

7. People clapping when I've successfully delivered another awesome art project!

8. Paying money to my own #wagesnotclaps campaign for carers to be properly paid.

9. Respite breaks for artists that are carers - allowing time off away from any caring responsibilities. Preferably also paid!

10. Artist led open calls where the artists are paid to organise and curate, with all contributing artists paid to contribute work, including artists that are carers, and then any PROFITS go to raise funds for other causes.

Some useful advice here:

More recommendations to support artists here: 

What doesn't work:

1. Telling artists there's no money because they've kept Arts Council funding for themselves and refuse to pay actual artists (corruption). Whilst there is a ton of money funding a Margaret Thatcher statue, but I may as well just scream into a void than expect to see a penny of it in my bank account.

2. Non artists applying for funding to deliver arts workshops under the auspices of participatory art, while actual artists starve to death because we are #ExcludedUK from any funding, including Arts Council funding, with insane criteria.

3. People asking why artists don't apply for the pitiful amounts of Arts Council funding that only covers the cost of the application process itself, and receiving rejection emails, which is really bad for wellbeing.

4. People providing arts workshops for carers for free, whilst ignoring the fact that artists don't work for free, and nor do I as a carer either, and thanks, now you have completely undermined my workshops, because now all carers are getting free workshops from amateurs, not a professional artist qualified to run them, who is now starving to death because you're going around telling people that art is great for wellbeing, but this is a LIE if artists are being forced out of our own PROFESSION. See also Lincoln Art Ninjas.

5. Expecting me to use the free library resources because you refuse to pay me enough that I can afford to replace my broken iMac, or expecting me to lower my expectations to fit some lowball fantasy of how you think I should work, not how I think I should work.

6. Expecting me to work for free at all, then offering the indignity of foodbanks because you refuse to pay wages. And then refusing foodbanks because I'm not over 70. Also, workfare - expecting me to work for benefits whilst at risk of destitution.

7. Clapping.

8. Expecting artists to provide charity to others, who do not provide any support to artists in any way. Similarly thinking that you have something to offer that we need, and getting uptight, mardy or abusive when we tell you that is not actually what we need. 

9. Harassing / abusing artist-carers about work whilst away on respite breaks like Gemma Baker from fraudulent and plagiarist WITA (Lincoln - not the actual Women In The Arts).

10. If you're a nature organisation organising competitions asking artists to send work, but do not offer any Exhibition Payment Fee for displaying work, and are offering our work for auction or sale, with proceeds from the sale not covering the artists' own overheads first, but to raise money for some other charity while artists ourselves are left to rot on benefits, and someone feels good because they didn't ask artists relying on The Alternative Arts Council funding to pay entry fees.

Some amateurs get to show their work because they have ADHD, and this is the basis of any "positive" feedback.

I am not in any way involved in the example here, because I would never participate in any project where my whole time was not remunerated, but this article describes the failures of cultural policy where artists are treated so appallingly.

This article explains how economic abuse is rife for single parents, ergo, single parent artists are often stonewalled from the arts completely, as is my xp.

I have since fixed this issue, however, it was too late for this round of funding, so I will have to wait until the next round. I hope nothing else breaks, or any other issues arise in the meantime.