Money For Artists: A New Federal Bill?

Los Angeles-based artist Jeffrey Vallance and the graduating class of the California College of the Arts MA Curatorial Practice program is proposing an idea of a federal bill that would create a benefit fund for all living visual artists in the United States.

The newly commissioned project is coming to Los Angeles and setting up a campaign headquarters, March 16-18. They will be introducing Preserving America’s Cultural Heritage at two public discussions and will be infiltrating galleries and art organizations all over the city during the three-day campaign initiative. Both UCLA and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) will graciously host events in which the city of Los Angeles will have the opportunity to listen first-hand to Jeffrey Vallance unveil his most innovative and challenging project to date. Many key points will be addressed including: the lack of arts funding in America, artists’ rights to the market value of their artwork, the need of a cultural policy on the federal level, as well as candid discussions generated by the concerns from the local art community. Everyone in Los Angeles is invited to attend!

The bill under discussion proposes a 1% tax on the sale of all art in the United States to fund a program to benefit individual artists. Annual disbursements from this fund would be paid to eligible artists living in the US. Eligibility would be awarded to those who file as visual artists on their tax forms and have evidence of an exhibition history. Additionally, the new legislation would create an artist registry organization that would administer the annual payments. The organization would also assist with the enforcement and efficacy of resale royalty laws like the California Resale Royalties Act (Civil Code 986), which requires a 5% royalty from sales of $1,000 or more to be paid to the artist or their estate.

The public is invited to participate in the following events:

Los Angeles Campaign:

Friday, March 17th
UCLA Department of Art. 1 -3 pm
EDA Room 104
11000 Kinross Ave.
LA, CA 90095-1615

Saturday, March 18th
Culver City and Bergamot Station galleries. 6 - 9 pm

Sunday, March 19th
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) 1 - 3 pm
6522 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Background: Jeffrey Vallance, current faculty member in the Art Department at UCLA, received an MFA from The Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles in 1981. His work reveals often overlooked aspects of relationships between the religious, the secular, and the political. He explores these relationships through the use of various media, such as painting, drawing, video, and performance. “Preserving America’s Cultural Heritage” is the first project of its kind by the artist. When speaking about his motivations for the project Vallance has stated, “the tragedy of America’s culture is that many artists do not see a return on their hard work during their lifetime, and those who do are often not able to benefit from it.” For more information, visit the Preserving America’s Cultural Heritage website, at:

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