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A Profile of the Performing Arts Industry by David H. Gaylin

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Chapter 6

Performing Artists and Their Unions

In most industries, a discussion of the workforce might look at labor-management relations, compliance issues, and adequacy of supply in numbers and training. In the performing arts, artistic labor is not only central to the product—in most respects, it is the product. So a look at the nature of the performing arts workforce is important in understanding the industry. Given the prominent role of organized labor in this industry, we will also examine the development and activities of the major performers’ unions.

Studying the workforce requires defining it, which is not always obvious for performing artists. Who is a musician, for example? People who make a living as instrumentalists or singers are ...

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