This list is an in-progress map centered on issues at the intersection of labor and artistic response, during and beyond crisis.

While this list is largely US-centric, and not comprehensive, it is a starting point is to collate materials from artists, writers, scholars, activists about the topics of labor and artistic response

There are three sections:

  • Labor
  • Programs around care, collectivity, and sustainability
  • Artistic response


Art and Labor, “Episode 77 – Plague World updates,” April 25, 2020

Cascone, Sarah, “MoMA Asked All Staff to Return to Work on Site…” ArtNet, September 14, 2020

Herships, Sally, “MoMA Workers Must Decide Whether To Return To Work Amid Pandemic,” NPR, September 24, 2020

Kopel, Dana, “The Museum Does Not Exist,” SSense, May 13, 2020

Wallace, Brett, City Workers Demand No Layoffs, Marx21, September 22, 2020

Alternative models of community

Dark Study – an experimental program centered on art. July 18, 2020.

A Call for Complaint for Sick Speech, Anonymous, April, 2020

Mildred’s Lane

In the NYC Low-Income Artist/Freelancer Relief Fund, Shawn Escarciga and Nadia Tykulsker have collectively crowdsourced $138,538 in funds from over 1,000 donors to provide emergency and preventative resources for low-income, BIPOC, trans/GNC/NB, queer, undocumented, immigrant artists and freelancers in NYC effected by the pandemic.

Image courtesy of Woodbine

Woodbine, a cooperative autonomous group, has mobilized mutual aid in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens by converting their space into food pantry. For months, they have distributed fresh food and vegetables every Wednesday and Friday.

Cooperative structures have a long history. And, co-ops can be seen in almost every sector from a bike repair company; a film collective (New Day Films); or an arts and education platform, such as OurGoods. Other examples include alternative tech startups that are platform coops


Artistic Response

Artists’ Literacies Institute – framework for artists to identify and apply their unique ways of knowing.

Davis, Ben, Understanding Why Nobody Made Great Art About the Previous World-Shaking Pandemic + Two Other Illuminating Reads From Around the WebArtnet, May 22, 2020.

Haiven, Max, No Artist Left Alive, Arts of the Working Class, April 25, 2020., Lorna Mills, Faith Holland, April 4th, 2020

In the Presence of Absence, curated by Jillian Steinhauer. The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, March 27-May 11, 2019.

Mengüç, Cem. Covid Magazine 

Nook Gallery

Sutton, Benjamin, Liberate Tate Activists Look Back on Six Years of Fighting BP Partnership, Hyperallergic, April 4, 2016.

Quaranzine, Public Collectors. A daily printed zine up to 100 issues.

Ir y retornar, Sarabel Santos-Negrón

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Arts and Culture Sector, Americans for the Arts

The Hologram – Cassie Thornton


“NYC needs mobile testing. I drew this up as a possible low cost solution. The shed provides safety for the health worker and it can be deployed on streets throughout the city making it safer for people to get tested on their block. Easily made, easily moved.”

Jon Schipper

Urgency Reader 2,, April. 2020