Overlord of the Auntie Sewing Squad at her Hello Kitty Sewing Machine, self-portrait of Kristina Wong, 2020
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Artists find themselves among the many other precarious careers in the US. Predominantly freelancers, often underemployed, artists don’t receive many of the benefits that many full-time employees count on—a fact that was made painfully clear during the economic shutdown. “We are basically living in a failed state right now,” Smith, a Creative Capital Awardee, artist and financial advisor, explained, remarking on conversations she has had “almost every day with an artist who is either trying to get an SBA loan, or grant, or retain unemployment, or get on it for the first time.” The “safety nets” that are ostensibly set up to help people make it through moments of crisis are not working. Artists are left to rethink how they benefit from their work, and in doing so, lead creative thinking around what kinds of new models can carry us all out of the pandemic and beyond. Full article.