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Austria/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.4 Support to professional artists associations or unions

Professional associations and interest groups are associations with restricted membership, aiming at representing the common interests of their members' vis-à-vis the general public, other professional associations or the state. They regard themselves as lobbyists for creative artists and cultural workers and / or operators and assist their members in professional questions and conduct. Traditionally, they are involved in many decisions, including consultations on bills and other issues, and frequently serve as negotiating partners in policy decisions.

The Austrian Council for Culture (KulturratÖsterreich) is a union of interest groups of artists and creators of culture. It is a platform for shared cultural-policy issues and objectives and it represents these to politics, media and administrations. The KulturratÖsterreich opens and promotes cultural, educational, media and socio-political debates. The 12 members are:   

  • ASSITEJ Austria;
  • Dachverband der Filmschaffenden (umbrellaorganisationoffilm-makers);
  • Gewerkschaft Kunst, Medien, Sport, freie Berufe (KMSfB; Arts, Media, Sports andFreelanceWorkers' Union;
  • IG Bildende Kunst (IG Fine Arts);
  • IG Freie Theaterarbeit (IG FreelanceTheatre Work);
  • IG Kultur Österreich (IG Culture);
  • konsortium.Netz.kultur (consortiumnetculture);
  • Musikergilde (Musicians' Guild);
  • ÖsterreichischerMusikrat (Austrian Music Council);
  • Übersetzergemeinschaft, Interessenvertretung der literarischen und wissenschaftlichen ÜbersetzerInnen in Österreich (Austrian AssociationofLiterary& Scientific Translators);
  • VerbandFreier Radios Österreich (VFRÖ; Association of Austrian Free Radio); and
  • Verein der Sprecher und Darsteller VOICE (association of speakers and actors).

In addition to these and the eight Austrian copyright collecting societies (see chapter 5.1.7), there are professional associations active in the fields of arts and culture, for example:

  • IG ("Interessengemeinschaft" / interest group) Autorinnen / Autoren, including the association of playwrights;
  • Österreichische Komponistenbund (Austrian Composers' Society);
  • ÖsterreichischerMusikrat (ÖMR; Austrian Music Council);
  • mica (Music Information Centre Austria);
  • IG KulturÖsterreich with nine provincial offices;
  • Dachverband der Filmschaffenden Österreichs (Austrian FilmmakersAssociation);
  • Zentralvereinigung der Architekten Österreichs (Central Associationof Austrian Architects Österreichs);
  • IG Architektur,
  • Österreichische Gesellschaft für Architektur (ÖGFA; Austrian Society forArchitecture);
  • IG Bildende Kunst (IG visual Arts); and
  • Design Austria.

Moreover, artists have the possibility of joining the GewerkschaftKunst, Medien, Sport, freieBerufe, a trade union representing professional and social interests of self-employed and / or employed creative artists, journalists, art educators, art administrators, event organisers and related professions in the areas of art, the media, education, and sports.

In 2014 "SMartAT"(SociétéMutuelle Pour Artists) was established in Austria. This non-profit organisation was developed in Belgium 1998 and currently is also established in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. "SMart" operates autonomously in accordance with the national framework conditions. "SMartAT" takes over administrative tasks for artists and creative workers with the aim of achieving improved framework conditions and minimising risks. "SMartAT" offers sustainable solutions for the supervision of projects and activities, artists' involvement in social-security issues and permanent employment and the professionalisation of their work.

Chapter published: 02-02-2016

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