Elizabeth Catlett, Sharecropper, 1952.
© 2020 Catlett Mora Family Trust / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS),


Artists Rights Society Advocacy


We are committed to strengthening the rights of artists by continually lobbying state and federal legislatures to safeguard and expand artists rights.

The ART Act

The ‘Art Act,’ a bill which ARS has helped to bring before Congress, would finally mandate the institution of a resale royalty in the United States. Visual artists are the only members of the creative community in the U.S. who do not receive residual payments for the later sales of their works, a right which is accorded to foreign artists in 70 other countries. Composers and lyricists will collect some two billion dollars this year in royalties for their compositions. Playwrights and screenwriters get public performance royalties akin to residuals for later production of their works. Actors in film and TV get residuals. All of these are revenues garnered by creators after their initial creative output. Unfortunately, visual artists receive none of these and do not earn a penny in residual or resale payments. The benefits derived from the resale of their works accrue entirely to collectors, auction houses, and galleries.

Sign the petition here.

Artist Museum Partnership Act

The Artist- Museum Partnership Act is a domestic bill that would allow creators to take a fair market deduction for works donated to museums, libraries, universities, and other public institutions. Currently, an artist who donates a work to an institution may deduct only the monetary value of their materials and not the fair market value of the work. A collector, on the other hand, who donates a work to these institutions, is entitled to a charitable tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the work. As stated succinctly by Christine Anagnos, the executive director of The Association of Art Museum Directors, “Museums rely on donations to build their collections on behalf of the public, and current law greatly impedes their ability to attract gifts from living artists.”

Sign the petition here.

Artificial Intelligence

ARS is paying close attention to the developments and litigation surrounding artificial intelligence, or AI. Most notably, artists have voiced concern that their work is being used in AI training databases and that AI outputs could impact their livelihood in the long term. As an advisor to its member artists, ARS is carefully considering how to best guide creators in this matter. We will continue to post updates as this issue develops further.

Read updates here.