There is a need in New Zealand for those who work or volunteer in the creative and performing arts to have access to an alternative dispute resolution process that is confidential and free. Settling disputes through a dedicated mediation and arbitration service will afford individuals and professional and community organisations, the same privileges as those involved in an employment or professional or recreational sports dispute.
When grievances and disputes are left unresolved, dissatisfactions can have a detrimental effect when conflicts arise. Working creatively is often to work collaboratively, and when grievances are not addressed to each party's satisfaction, there is a risk of destabilising important relationships. For those who work autonomously, a creative dispute is often difficult to navigate alone.
I have been interviewing artists, theatre producers, professional dancers, musicians and others on this subject and have discovered that there is a reluctance to raise issues publicly or even privately within the sector for fear of exclusion from future collaborations, representation. creative opportunities and employment. Funding for projects may even be put at risk. When a grievance is raised or directed at or by an individual or group in the comparatively small arts community, (where everybody knows everybody,) there is a risk of reputational damage. Power imbalances within the arts keeps this status quo of silent acceptance firmly in place and grievances remain unresolved or ignored. There are simply not enough opportunities to stick one's creative head above the parapet. Mediation with a binding confidentiality agreement would give those who work in the creative arts and the organisations that support them the opportunity to deal with complaints and grievances quickly and effectively. And it must be free. In NZ the average creative professional salary pa was $35,000. (CNZ Colmer Brunton 2021 survey), so taking a grievance or complaint to court is simply out of the question. Not only is this service required but should be seen as a basic right for those who enrich our lives through their work and vision. I would love to connect with mediators with experience or an interest in ADR for the creative and performing arts, (including film and television) Pacifica arts and Ngā toi Māori.
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Argyll Family Dispute Resolution Practice
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