A first year graduate student in my arts management class presented a paper this week on arts labor economics. Her undergrad degree was in acting so she had never delved into the topic formally. She certainly understood through anecdotal observation that there is an imbalance between artist labor supply and artist opportunity and that artists are often paid less than their peers in other fields (to put it mildly). Among the factors she considered was that artists are often willing to work for low or even no pay because the joy of doing the work is payment enough. In concluding her presentation, she posed a rhetorical question that I paraphrase here: How can we make this vicious cycle of artist oversupply and underpayment stop?
Following this presentation, I returned to my office and this email:
I want to reach out and see if you have any film students that…
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