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Working practices that “wouldn't be tolerated in any other industry” have become the norm across the sector, with employees and freelances expected to work for nothing to enable their artist output to be delivered.
Across the UK, but especially in London, arts workers are considering their futures in the sector as salaries have fallen out of step with the cost of living.
A newly-released Arts Council England report finds that portfolio careers are the norm among artists, and that the sector is dominated by women, who earn less from their art practice than men.
Over 70% of respondents working in music, the visual arts or museums/heritage come from households where the main income earner worked in a professional or senior managerial occupation.
Lack of career progression among women in the cultural sector is the overwhelming contributor to the significant gender pay gap revealed in initial findings from the 2018 ArtsPay survey.
Role changes, salary increases and associated benefits led to members of Arts Council England’s senior team seeing their remuneration packages grow by up to £24k each last year.