Sustainable Paths: IETM eBook Lays Groundwork to Help Fight Artist Poverty

Circus News

Sustainable Paths: IETM eBook Lays Groundwork to Help Fight Artist Poverty

People who dedicate their lives to a career ought to be able to support themselves through their work… yet this is often not the case for performers and other artists. As part of a three-year initiative, the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) has set out to understand the roots of the link between art and poverty and then lay out sustainable development solutions that promote fairness within the performing arts sector. This publication is just the first part of their findings.
No matter if you are bleeding, breathing, and making your living in the arts or you are someone whose primary mode of encounter with art is as an audience member, all of us are familiar with the archetype of the poor, starving artist. The once-in-a-generation painter who throws his masterpiece into the hobo’s bonfire to keep himself warm at night. The street performer who gives pedestrians a good show all day long and, after dark, retreats to their self-made nook under the toll bridge, the cold roof of a cardboard box their only shield against the harshness of the elements. OK, so the versions of this character that you see on TV might be a bit exaggerated… but this particular stereotype, unfortunately, has a harsh amount of truth to it. Around the world, there are many artists who face what Belgian sociologist Delphine Hesters, in her introduction, calls the “wicked problem” of labor and of exploitation (“Which Side Are You On?” 4). Artis...
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Carolyn Klein

Carolyn Klein is a writer, poet, and circus fan from the Washington, D.C, area. Writing stories about the circus has been a dream of hers since getting introduced to circus fiction around 2014. She recently completed her B.A. in English and Creative Writing, magna cum laude, at George Mason University. As a new member of the Circus Talk journalism team, Carolyn looks forward to learning as much as she can about the industry and people behind circus.