The London Cultural Strategy Group has announced it is backing fairer pay for artists through support of the Paying Artists campaign.

Appointed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the group provides a voice for the sector in the capital, advocating for London’s continued role as a world-class city of culture. It is also keen to make sure the opportunity to have a career in the arts is available to all Londoners.

However, as a-n/AIR’s research shows, a typical artist earns only £10,000 per annum – significantly less than the London Living Wage in annual income. In response, the London Cultural Strategy Group has unanimously voted to support the Paying Artists campaign.

Iwona Blazwick, OBE, who chairs the group and is also director of Whitechapel Art Gallery, said:

“London’s cultural industries are famous for innovation, entrepreneurial energy and risk taking. The research by a-n for the campaign has revealed declining incomes and low pay rates for many artists.

“The London Cultural Strategy Group has given wholehearted support to the Paying Artists campaign because we’re concerned that economic disadvantage will drive away a vital pool of artists’ talent, putting at risk London’s incredible cultural offer and its high profile on the world stage.”

Appealing directly to cultural decision makers, she added: “We also encourage cultural and political leaders, policy makers, cultural agencies and organisations to support this campaign and do their part to ensure artists are financially recognised for the significant economic and social contribution they make to our booming creative and cultural industries.”

Paying Artists Survey

The Paying Artists campaign has just launched two online surveys as part of an ongoing consultation process.

The information and views gathered will help shape exhibition fee guidelines which will then be tested with the sector later this year.

The surveys – one for artists and one for galleries and curators – have been created to ensure that a broad range of opinions are represented in the debate around artists’ fees.

To complete a survey, go to