Why arts organisations should pay their interns, even if they can't afford to

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Within an arts organisation you are only as valuable as you are flexible and obedient.

I have recently been working within a community arts organisation on the eastern coast of Australia. Not unusual for non-for-profit arts organisations, this one gets by on the smell of an oily rag. With barely enough funds to pay their interns for the hours they work, as well as complying with their ethical obligation to pay artists according to NAVA guidelines, they take on unpaid interns from the local arts schools on an application basis every exhibition block. When working there over the summer, I met an intern who came in several times a week to work a full day.

Harriet McKay

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