Cultural ReProducers Manifesto (a work in progress)

* Being a vital cultural creator and an engaged parent need not be mutually exclusive things. No one should feel they have to choose between having a successful career in the arts and having a family. This has been the case for too long.

* The art world, as it is currently structured, doesn’t know what to do with mothers. Or children. Or fathers actively raising their kids. This affects all of culture: the making, curating, reviewing, experiencing and feeling of it.

* Raising children to value and engage with art benefits them, us, and society as a whole. Creating culture with the perspectives that come from raising another human does, too.

* Artists are the most underpaid/unpaid workers in the arts economy. Raising children is likewise unpaid and undervalued. For artist-parents the equation of time = money is quite literal. Focused time in the studio, at an evening event, or just working to earn an income adds up to hours of childcare expenses. We seek outside funding to compensate presenting artists, and we don’t charge parents to participate.

* Naptime for small children often doubles as critical studio time for parents. Sleep schedules also make it more complicated to leave the house. During the first few years of a child’s life these factors tend to isolate parents from the art community. Whenever possible we will create opportunities for cultural exchange between 9:30am – 11:30am, when many toddlers and younger children are active.

* Making work while raising a small child is really, really hard. What’s not said often enough is that it can be incredibly rewarding, and can benefit the work itself.

* Successful artists/writers/curators/performers/choreographers/critics with children rarely discuss this aspect of their lives, since the nature of such success has always been centered around the model of the single (and historically male) cultural producer working alone. This has kept us re-inventing the wheel again and again. Let’s change it.

* Instead of isolation we seek networks of support, visibility, and dialogue. By working together to realize our collective needs and desires we will expand the field to make possible new forms and ideas.



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  1. Diane

    This is a much needed conversation that needs to take place in the world of art. I love this article! Thank you for having a dialogue. Families, women, single families that are artists do struggle w balance especially in this world of art where men still dominate……but I am seeing change in a way that embraces art by bring art where we live. Those considered in the margines that have a passion for art need to work harder to be heard, but one day we will see change that affirms all that you talk about in this most wonderful article. Thank you as I happen to be one of those artists.

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