Reader’s guide to Guideline artist’s fees
The guideline for artists’ fees was jointly developed with input from interested organisations and associations in the art world in the Netherlands whose members encounter the issue of artists’ fees on a daily basis. By producing this guideline, the field is working together to promote a more professional contract practice in non-selling exhibitions. Participants display social entrepreneurship and respond to the call of the Social Economic Council and the Council for Culture to improve the position of artists on the labour market. The guideline was developed based on practical research done in the past two years for BKNL* and facilitated by the Mondriaan Fund, the incentive fund for art and heritage. The introduction of the guideline is supported by an experimental regulation, for which the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has made a budget available. The guideline is based on the ‘comply or explain’ principle and comes into force from 1 January 2017. The effectiveness of the guideline and other implementation aspects will be monitored and evaluated after a year.
The guideline is a guide to both artists and institutes and museums or anyone representing the sector. All players in the art world, be they artists, institutes, commissioning parties or representatives of the sector, may use the calculation table and the checklist which is part of the guideline. For this, an online calculation model was developed.
The guideline is widely supported and underlined by a ‘covenant’ signed by various organisations and associations, whose members encounter the fee issue on a daily basis. This covenant is signed by representatives of artists in the Netherlands: Beroepsvereniging van Beeldende Kunstenaars, Kunstenbond FNV and Vereniging Platform Beeldende Kunst, by the lobbyist on behalf of the presentation institutions, De Zaak Nu, and by a vanguard from Dutch art museums, including Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo, Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem, Mauritshuis Den Haag, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Groninger Museum, Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis Leiden, Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Dordrechts Museum, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, TwentseWelle, Schunck Heerlen, Museum Arnhem, Museum Het Valkhof Nijmegen, Nationaal Museum voor Wereldculturen, Kunsthal KAdE Amersfoort, Museum Catharijneconvent Utrecht, Fries Museum, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof Leeuwarden and Museum De Domijnen Sittard.
By signing the covenant, the organisations mentioned above state that they have jointly agreed a well founded guideline for artist’s fees which can be used as a basis in the negotiation between artist and art institute for non-selling presentations. It also means that they apply the guideline themselves and/or inform their members thereof.
The guideline describes the variables which affect the artist’s fee in each situation: for example the duration of a presentation, the number of participating artists, whether a new or existing work is being exhibited, etc. These variables are combined in a calculation table, which offers support in the negotiation between artist and art institute in the case of presentations without a sales target. An online calculation model has been made available which calculates the base amount for each situation from which negotiations can be conducted in all reasonableness. There is also a checklist of subjects which can be discussed during negotiations about the fee. Within the guideline, the principle ‘comply or explain’ applies. That means: the guideline is applied or explained in the case of a deviation.
The guideline will be introduced from 1 January 2017 and evaluated after a year.
In order to ensure the smooth and gradual implementation of the guideline, an assimilation procedure has been included, starting with at least 50% of the minimum amounts in 2017.
That means that institutes which commit to the guideline – taking into consideration the principle ‘comply or explain’ – must fulfil 50% of the minimum amounts. The aim is that payments to artists will be at the required minimum level by 2020.
From 1 January 2017, the Mondriaan Fund is initiating an experimental regulation to stimulate the implementation of the guideline: anyone who pays at least 50% of fees listed in the guideline will be eligible for an extra financial stimulus. More information about the experimental regulation and the application procedure is available via www.mondriaanfonds.nl.
As well as a calculation model and a checklist of important subjects which can be addressed during the fee negotiations, the guideline is accompanied by a list of frequently asked questions and various calculation examples.
* Beeldende Kunst Nederland (BKNL) is an informal consultative body of organisations which defend the interests of artists, museums, presentation institutions and galleries in the Netherlands. BKNL represents Platform BK, Museumvereniging, FNV Kiem, Kunsten ‘92, the Beroepsvereniging van Beeldend Kunstenaars (BBK), the Nederlandse Galerie Associatie (NGA) and the lobby association for presentation institutions for Zaak Nu. The Mondriaan Fund facilitates and coordinates BKNL.