Monday Musings – Advocate for Arts Space and Why We Engage.

Artists need purpose-built space to work, just as a mechanic or baker has unique needs when it comes to completing their tasks. Many of us can understand this requirement for occupations outside of the arts but struggle to recognize why a creative would request the same consideration. This is one of the reasons Arts Habitat advocates for arts space and why we engage with community on related issues.

The arts is a viable and valuable career option and adds value to our life every day. Music, live performances, books, magazines, paintings, sculptors, fashion designers, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, printmakers, arts administrators, and many more make our lives more meaningful while contributing to our economy. The arts are at the core of our existence, and while art means different things to different people, there is an undeniable connection we have to the arts. The fact it is intangible makes it challenging to place a value on, but, just like other professionals or tradespeople, an artist deserves to be paid based on their skill and quality of work.

In Canada, it is a struggle to earn a living creating. Most artists, regardless of the medium they choose, will never earn an income above the poverty line, despite grants and subsidies. The median individual income of Canada’s artists is $24,300, or 44% less than all Canadian workers ($43,500), and with the poverty line averaged at $37,542, that puts musicians, authors, painters, and creators of all kinds below the poverty level.

Arts Habitat works to ensure that artists can continue to contribute to society. We know the value placed on the workspace that is accessible and appropriate. We understand the need to ensure our artists have the space required to not only produce art but live as well. The cost of studio space can be a barrier to Edmonton artists. Through our research and networking, we connect with not only artists but administrators, consultants, government, and other nonprofits. This gives us the unique ability to work with both those that have space and those that need space.

Stats Can: The highest (and lowest) paying jobs in Canada for 2018
How do you put a value on art, and the people creating it?
Here’s how much of your income you should be spending on housing
A Statistical Profile of Artists in Canada in 2016