We often discuss the arts in regard to the impact on our community, well-being, education system and economy. Recently, discussion of the role and rights of art workers has become a more prominent aspect of the conversation. The great paradox of art being priceless is that it can come at a great cost to artists and the laborers employed by arts institutions. In the face of an organization’s financial distress, who can ensure that artists and laborers are guaranteed consistent work and pay, appropriate working conditions, and a pension plan that won’t be threatened? Who speaks up to ensure an equitable relationship between artists and management?
EALS brings together different thought-leaders from various disciplines whose primary work focuses on these issues. This panel explores labor unions in the arts from the perspectives of a formal union for theater musicians, informal labor unions like Museum Workers Speak, and labor unions from the perspective of the arts organization.
Monica Montgomery, Panelist
Monica O. Montgomery is a cultural entrepreneur, curating media, and museums to be in service to society. She is the Director of the Museum of Impact the first mobile social justice museum. She is a national organizer with Museums Workers Speak leading the collective in social media, outreach and presentations to facilitate equity, parity and thriving wages careers in museums. Monica is an alumna of Temple University with a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Communication and LaSalle University, with a Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication. She holds leadership positions in New York City Museum Educators Roundtable and Museum Hue.
Paul Schultz, Panelist
Paul Schultz serves as President of the Washington DC chapter of the Theatre Musicians Association. Paul is a Trombonist and, since 1989, has performed at the J.F. Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Fords’, National, Warner and Shakespeare Theaters in Washington, DC, as well as the Hippodrome, Lyric and Mechanic Theaters in Baltimore, MD. He is an Associate Professor in the Music Department at Howard University. Before teaching at Howard, he completed a 21-year career with The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in 1992. Paul earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Catholic University of America.
Marissa LaRose, Panelist
Marissa LaRose is currently the Associate General Manager at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. She administers contractual negotiations for the majority of artists at Arena Stage and maintains Union relationships and observance of Union regulations for the company. Marissa has free-lanced in Production Management with Hotopp Associates and Turnaround Arts, among other companies. She also serves as a teaching artist for Arena Stage’s Voices of Now program and Camp Arena Stage. Marissa earned a double Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Theater at Truman State University.
Andrew Taylor, Moderator
Andrew Taylor is an Associate Professor in the Arts Management Program, exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Andrew has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the William Penn Foundation, Overture Center for the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Before joining the AU faculty, Andrew served as Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business for over a decade. Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, current board member of the innovative arts support organization Fractured Atlas, and consulting editor both for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and for Artivate, a journal for arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, ”The Artful Manager”, hosted by ArtsJournal.com.