by Sessa Englund, Julia Sinelnikova, and Samantha Katz
Arts in Bushwick is pleased to announce the second AiB Panel Discussion, Arts Labor & Workers’ Rights in Today’s Job Market, to take place at Radio Bushwick. Coordinated by AiB Organizers Sessa Englund and Julia Sinelnikova, and moderated by writer and Hyperallergic contributor Alexis Clements, this panel discussion will focus on issues surrounding artist labor rights.
Labor relations within creative industries have long been strained by tensions between the labor force and job creators, culminating in pivotal moments of revolt and reaction like the Art Workers’ Union of the 1960’s. Recent examples include the Teamster strikes during Frieze Art Fair NY in 2013 and the protests against labor conditions at the construction site of the new Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Jillian Steinhauer - Hyperallergic
Ross Perlin - author of Intern Nation
Tal Beery - Occupy Museums
Maureen Connor - Occupy Museums
Ventiko - Ventiko Photography, Animamus Art Salon
and panel moderator Alexis Clements, Hyperallergic
This Sunday! 5pm at Radio Bushwick
Zine Feast is less than a month away and I’m excited to announce the first listing of the After Feast lineup!
AceMo (Adrian Mojica)is a student at Purchase College that has been honing his craft and putting out some great electronic/beat music for the past few years. Think Flying…
by Willow Goldstein
"One of the things that I think is very heartening [in the Rheingold negotiation] was that some of the strongest opponents, or people at least fighting hard for affordable housing, were some of the newer residents… and I think that’s a very positive thing that is important to note," said John Dereszewski at last Sunday’s AiB Panel on Affordable Housing. Conversations surrounding gentrification have taken place in different forums and venues across North Brooklyn for years, as the the myriad of contributing factors push new residents further East in a quest for affordable space. Arts in Bushwick initiated that conversation last Sunday, March 30, with the first of three panels on artist concerns. Panel organizer Sessa Englund, a Bushwick-based artist and curator, invited a refreshingly diverse panel of six community stakeholders, including Antonio Reynoso (NYC Councilmember representing the 34th district), Chloe Bass (Arts in Bushwick Co-Founder), Shawn Gallagher (active member of Placeholder), John Dereszewski (former District Manager of CB4 and Bushwick Historian), Kunal Gupta (Silent Barn), and Martin S. Needelman, Esq. (Housing Issues and Tenants Rights Specialist, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation). The panel was moderated by Robin Grearson, a nonfiction writer and creative producer. Additionally, Arts in Bushwick prepared handouts on tenant rights, rent stabilization, and housing court.
Left to right: Robin Grearson, Kunal Gupta, Chloe Bass, John Dereszewski, Antonio Reynoso, Martin S. Needelman, and Shawn Gallagher.
John Dereszewski began the conversation with a history of Bushwick, outlining factors in the trajectory that leads neighborhoods, like Bushwick, to this tipping point. Attorney Martin S. Needleman informed on the workings of housing court, including the institutionally ingrained favoring of landlords, through the prominence of eviction courts, over courts designed to hear tenant complaints (the balance currently sits at 14 to 1). Coucilman Antonio Reynoso positioned local affordable housing efforts in context to the City of New York as a whole. Community member Kunal Gupta shared his experience running a DIY community art space that became politically active in the face of the Rheingold rezoning. A reminder came from artist Chloe Bass that discussions about affordable housing need to keep distinct populations in mind, that needs or means of one population are not the same as another. Community activist Shawn Gallagher provided an in-the-works example of how the needs of culturally distinct populations can be merged through obtaining commercial spaces for manufacturing purposes, which allows for artists to work and creates local jobs. Their collective backgrounds and experiences provided an excellent framework in which to have a conversation as complex as this, a conversation that breaches race, gender, and socio-economic status, in an attempt to discern exactly who is entitled to what in an evermore aggressive battle against displacement.