“work for pay” selected for Recession Art show

September 30, 2009

Come see Sara K. Edwards perform a new version of work for pay this weekend. This is the last scheduled work for pay event… the money has run out. Over the next few months I will be reevaluating this project and figuring out how to move forward with it in a new direction. Please feel free to get in touch if you have ideas or comments: lydia.m.bell at gmail dot com.

From the Recession Art website:

October 3rd, 6pm: Opening Party featuring work for pay at Invisible Dog Gallery

All are welcome to the No Money No Problems Free Opening Party. Help us celebrate our artists with free refreshments, music, and merriment. Drink with the artists and catch performance artist Lydia Bell’s new piece work for pay,  an ongoing project in which she hires unemployed artists as dancers. Performances of the project demonstrate the artists’ marketable skills to the audience. At No Money No Problems, unemployed artist and dancer Sara K. Edwards will be performing from 6-8pm.

Invisible Dog Gallery is at 51 Bergen Street between Smith and Court Streets in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.


Perform Williamsburg photos

September 18, 2009

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rehearsal with Avianna and Sara

September 9, 2009

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new artist Avianna Perez

September 8, 2009

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The other artist I am working with is Avianna Perez. Avianna is a director, choreographer, performer and organizer. Her creative work focuses on using the real life experiences of her ensemble to portray and explore social-universal themes such as interpersonal conflict and communication. She is the artistic director of Insurgo Stage Project and the producer of ArtHouse – a multi-disciplinary art event in New Brunswick, NJ. For a complete bio, click the tab with her name above.

On what sort of work Avianna is looking for:

“Truth is, I would love to get paid doing what I do now for free. I’m interested in building community through the creating and celebration of art. I would love a job working with a group of people to create multidisciplinary art events for all types of purposes: benefits, fundraisers, openings, celebrations. I would also love to connect that somehow to community organizing and affecting change at a local level.”


new artist Sara Zimmerman

September 2, 2009

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For “work for pay” phase II, I will be working with three new artists this upcoming Labor Day. (They will be paid minimum wage for 9 hours of work–$7.25/hour in New York.) We will show the new piece at Perform Williamsburg in East River State Park on Sunday, September 13.

Sara Zimmerman is one of the artists I will be working with. She is an actor, sound maker, and theater artist.  In her original theatrical work she deals with ideas of boundaries, queer bodies, speech, and loss. She is a recent transplant from Oakland, California. I asked Sara what type of job she is looking for:

“I want a job teaching theater, acting, or creative movement to young adults. Said job should have a high hourly wage (50-60 dollars an hour) if it involves shlepping from place to place. Ideal job will involve going to one institution and will be for 20-30 hours a week. Steady part-time professor work makes me very happy.

I am also interested in working as a project manager or coordinator for a non-profit arts institution. I applied for a job recently with the Theater Development Fund (which I did not get), being a project coordinator in a new pilot project that is working to increase audience diversity. It was 30 hours a week, $3100 dollars a month, with benefits. I’d like that job or a job like it.

I want a job in my field, teaching or administrative, that uses my skills, where I can go home with enough time and money to make new performances.”


They worked. They were paid.

August 20, 2009

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photo by Ashley May

Adriana, Brock and Sara are all moving on to other projects, jobs, and countries. I have really enjoyed working with them during this rehearsal process and seeing them perform work for pay at FEAST and Envoy. (Photo links coming soon.) I am happy they are gainfully employed but sad that I don’t get to spend as much time with them! 

I am doing phase II of work for pay during the week of Labor Day. The structure is a little different–I will work with the artists for only one day and we will perform the following weekend. Please pass this call onto friends.

I am seeking 3 unemployed artists for a week-long project in September. You must be unemployed, comfortable with performing, and have an active artistic practice. I will pay you minimum wage ($7.25/hour) for a full day of work on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day). From 9am-5pm we will work collaboratively on an improvisational score that addresses employment, artistic practice, and marketable skills. No prior performance or dance experience necessary–I will introduce artists to basic choreographic and improvisatory concepts. Must also be free and able to perform the afternoon of Sunday, September 13 at an outdoor performance art festival in Williamsburg. This is phase II in the project work for pay, made possible in part by FEAST (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics). If you are interested in participating or want more information, contact me: lydia.m.bell at gmail dot com.


Work For Pay At Envoy Enterprises

August 15, 2009