By Charlotte Gruber

Organise a meeting with your circle of artist friends, colleagues and acquaintances (and other workers from the cultural sector) who are parents and set up a “labour rights union for artist-parents”. Create drafts in response to the ‘minimum standards’ defined in the “EU-wide rules to improve work-life balance for parents and carers” issued in 2019. Research the laws and regulations of your government regarding labour rights for parents and make comparisons with other countries. What is specific about the situation of artists? What is your experience? What do you need?

If you want, use one of the mentioned games for transformation (spread across the almanac) to support this exercise.

You can find the EU directives for proposed advancement of minimum basic parental rights at:

Are these realistic for art-practitioners? Are these sufficient? What are they lacking? Which strengths could be expanded upon? How could they be advanced specifically for artists on an institutional or governmental level?

What demands can you formulate for governments, employers and institutions?

Just- ification: It should go without saying, our demands are based on research that shows artists to be one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of precarious employment and unstable or unfair income and remuneration. The precarity is amplified due to unlivable conditions of artist-parenthood, especially for women. The intersectional discriminatory score for an artist is heightened should they identify as AFAB and skyrockets once more when giving birth to a child or – god fobid – several.

The experience of childbearing, however, can be one of the most meaningful and enriching yet painful, despairing experiences, providing transformation, personal growth and a steep increase in skills of critical, interpersonal, depth in relations and emotional intelligence.

Artists are one of the groups most relevant in reflecting and commenting on all aspects regarding togetherness and the fine fabric of any sort of vulnerability. They deserve to dive into the precious fountain overflowing with tremendous reflectivity, grief, joy and eureka – and they should be allowed to do so with dignity, without having to abandon their important missions due to fright and faltering.

We support our demands by arguing that artists provide a terribly underestimated amount of value, which creates – beside economic stimulus – rich, sociocultural landscapes, political debate and communal tranquility.

Our demands are made in the interest of the well-being of the children of this particularly vulnerable group and in support of sustaining and expanding the downplayed worth their parents add to the economy and life at large.

People profit from art. There is profit in art. Artists should profit as well from what they do. They too should be allowed to be people.

Society profits from child rearing, even more so if conditions allow parents and their offspring to thrive – to explore their very intimate and special connection and to give to it. Those who invest themselves in nursing and nurturing should be welcomed with warmth.

Artists deserve the right to family. And artists’ children deserve an abundant life.