A simple test of any arts funding model.

Yesterday I was contacted by an arts trade magazine asking to reprint my TED Ideas piece, “How Do Artists Make a Living? An Ongoing, Almost Impossible Quest,” in exchange for six months of membership in their organization. I thanked them for their offer and asked for $100 instead, as I need groceries more than membership in an arts organization right now. They said they can’t pay writers because their magazine is massively money-losing and their governing council pays for it out of pocket, but to reconsider membership, because it comes with the opportunity to apply for emergency funding. I said, if you paid artists in the first place, they wouldn’t constantly be in need of emergency funding. They haven’t replied and that’s fine.

Look. If your arts model loses massive amounts of money, and loses it at the expense of artists, then your model doesn’t work. Drop it. Make a new one. I know everyone is very nice and has very nice intentions and blah blah blah but things will not change if artists don’t stand up to these practices, and if those enacting them don’t change them.

Incidentally, here’s the TED piece they wanted to reprint. If y’all would like to contribute to my Patreon for having written it (and everything I write), please do: patreon.com/monicabyrne, or I’m on PayPal under monica@monicabyrne.org, or Venmo at @monica-byrne-3. Thanks.


If you liked this post, please consider supporting my work on Patreon for as little as $1/month. My work is entirely funded by patrons like you. Thank you.


Patreon | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | The Girl in the Road | Art and Commissions

2 Comments on “A simple test of any arts funding model.”

  1. I love the irony of your exchange with the magazine! (And by love, I mean, hate.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s