In Kind: The Hidden Economies of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art
Visual artists Janie Nicoll and Ailie Rutherford have released the statistics gathered during In Kind; their research project mapping the hidden economies of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the “below the water-line” economy of the arts. The project charted the unseen and unaccounted for efforts that enable the festival to take place, exploring the unpaid labour, mutual support, favours and volunteer hours that go into making GlasgowInternational happen. For the duration of the festival the artists operated from an information kiosk moving from different arts venues across the city, collating data from artists who were logging their hours, contributions and expenses through the website.
From the 59 participants who submitted their data, 10,003 in-kind hours were logged and £62,538 in-kind costs. The projected cost of these unpaid working hours using the SAU payment rates of £28 per hour, amassed at £280,084 and with the inclusion of project costs, £342,622. An average total of 169 hours were worked unpaid by each artist or contributor across the 3 weeks of the festival at an average cost of £1059 per artist. If the data sample collected from the 59 participants was representative of the 330 artists involved in the festival then the total cost contributed to the festival in-kind and for free by artists would be approximately £1,916,360.00.
This figure is similar to what Glasgow International Festival organisers have calculated is the benefit to the city’s economy. Statistics of the festival's economic impact on the city from Caroline Winn, GI2018 Festival Manager:
2014: £1.64 million for Glasgow | £1.19 million for Scotland
2016: £1.79 million for Glasgow | £1.68 million for Scotland
We are incredibly grateful to this project in making this urgent issue of the artists' economy publicly visible. There is a lot of cultural production in Scotland but the people who are paid the least within it are the artists. No one should have to work for free and if the economic circumstances mean there are fewer artists able to afford to exhibit their work, policy-makers, funders, galleries, and the public risk severing the pipeline of creative talent on which the whole industry depends.
Head over to the In Kind website to view the set of demands. The artists are continuing to develop the project, add to these demands and would value more contributions. If you would like to contribute, please get in touch with Ailie and Janie at [email protected]