Abundance of skill + lack of integral support = disorganization. Why do artists rely on beneficence and actively evade self-sufficiency? Could it be a virus?

One solution: a dues supported union of artists, open only to artists with a mission of advocacy to encourage patronage, attendance, and wise stewardship.

Dues supporting means membership; means joining together for a common cause. This is irksome to those dedicated to class warfare, otherwise it’s as simple as writing a check. Dues should be pegged at 1/1000 of a member’s annual income. Supporting is an important point. Existing within means is the secret to happiness.

Open only to artists means we have a common bond. Your day job may be judge or executioner, but when you consider your membership to the artists union, consider your craft, and don’t be crafty.

A mission of advocacy is purely political, never competing or compelling merchandising. Too many so-called advocates are conflicted and silenced by their personal issues with money. Mixing business with pleasure is folly.

Encourage patronage, attendance, and wise stewardship – a la we make art, not money. We seek a symbiotic relationship, not a tyranny where snarky deceit is our only retort. Dues allow the union to hire an advocate to break rocks at POVA, the media, county and state bureaus, etc.

Here’s how to start.

1. If you haven’t joined an arts group – do. One stick is easily broken.
2. If you lead an arts group – consider merging with another.
3. Contribute to arts groups – start at 1/1000 of your annual income. Or are you all talk and no walk?
4. Eat junk & you become junk. Stop ingesting bad art.
5. When someone smart and honest launches an artist union in Portland, sign up.

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