Creatives Rebuild New York champions a renewed social contract that centers trust and dignity for artists as workers. Our programs are rooted in direct investment in artists to support their economic security –by providing artists with an economic floor through guaranteed income, and by funding good jobs that pay a living wage. Our vision for systemic change is one that transforms working and living conditions for artists and creatives to thrive in New York State and beyond.
Broadly, we situate our policy advocacy work within three objectives: shift power to workers, support worker well-being, and enable economic mobility and artistic practice. We will engage in advocacy, endorse individual policy legislation, and support coalitions already doing work at these intersections.
Shift power to workers
- We support laws that make workplaces more democratic, increase worker voice, and allow for collective ownership in the workplace.
Example legislation includes the 2023 NY Community Land Act. Organizations leading work in this area include Guilded, Open Collective, and Tribeworks.
- We are in solidarity with unions, organizers, and campaigners building collective power among artists, creative workers, and other workers.
Examples actions include the Writers Guild of America strike, movement-building partners such as Art.coop, and innovators such as The Workers Lab and the Sol Center for a Liberated Future.
Support worker well-being
- We advocate for strengthened protections and rights for artists at work and in the workplace. This includes wage protections for freelancers, as well as enforcement of existing worker protection laws.
Example legislation includes NY Freelance Isn’t Free bills led by Freelancer’s Union and the Good Jobs Agenda led by the NY Rights for All Workers Coalition.
- We support expanding unemployment insurance, health insurance, paid leave and other social insurance programs to all – particularly to ‘excluded workers,’ such as freelancers and contractors as well as to those who may be without citizenship. Broadly, we do not believe that work requirements should dictate eligibility for social safety net programs.
Example legislation includes the Unemployment Bridge Program, the NY Health Act, Coverage for All campaign, and Paid Family Leave expansions.
- We support investment into deeper research and trials related to portable benefits options, creating pathways for typical employee-sponsored benefits, such as health coverage or retirement benefits, to move with people as they change jobs.
Example legislation includes the federal Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot.
Enable economic security and mobility
- We believe in no-strings-attached, direct cash programs that trust individuals to make decisions about how they live their own lives. We advocate for guaranteed income and direct cash policies such as individual, child, and family tax credits without work requirements. We will advance and amplify the growing body of evidence demonstrating the myriad benefits of direct cash.
Example legislation includes the 2023 NY Working Families Tax Credit bill, led by statewide organizations such as the NY Immigration Coalition and the Working Families Party. Key partners developing “pilot to policy” guaranteed income strategies include Economic Security Project and its State Roadmap of Cash Coalitions, Jain Family Institute (JFI), Income Movement, and Mayors/Counties for a Guaranteed Income.
- We support a living wage that allows individuals and families to thrive.
Example legislation includes the 2023 Raise Up NY bill and the work of WAGE (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) artist advocates.
- We support sustainable, quality jobs programs for artists so that they are both paid a fair wage and provided with a job that acknowledges their artistic and transferable skills.
Example legislation includes the CREATE Act of 2022 (S.650) – Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy, the PLACE Act of 2020 – Promoting Local Arts and Creative Economy Workforce, historic precedents such as the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973, and the broader movement for a federal jobs guarantee.
- We advocate for a more just, equitable, and strongly supported arts and cultural ecosystem at local, state, and federal levels.
Sample legislation includes NY Bill S5714A and federal Bill H.R.3239 – Advancing Equity Through the Arts and Humanities Act.
Beyond the explicit platform outlined above, CRNY will remain responsive and stand in solidarity with artists advocating for economic and racial justice issues that align with CRNY’s ethical framework*, such as affordable housing and studio spaces, debt relief, d/Deaf and disability access, reparations, universal childcare, and progressive taxation.
* CRNY’s ethical framework prioritizes transformative, caring support for artists; trust in and respect for program participants; worker solidarity and labor acknowledgment; reparative, equitable access to funds and opportunities; and an invitation to challenge and reimagine existing systems and institutions.