Artists 'shocked' at JW3 job losses

But London centre says it remains committed to arts and cultural programming


A group of artists have expressed shock at redundancies at JW3, amid concerns about the impact on future programming.

In an open letter seen by the JC, they said they were “shocked and dismayed to hear that the current [arts and culture] team is being made redundant, as their work over the years has not only been excellent, but is integral to the future of arts and culture at JW3, and more broadly across the UK.”

Expressing fears that commissioning in this area was being reduced to a single person, they asked: “Is it possible for one person to have the expertise and capacity to oversee music, theatre, comedy, cinema, visual arts and literature?”

They also voiced concern at “the outsourcing of labour to freelancers” and worry that “it will only encourage an existing culture of overworking and underpaying freelance artists”.

JW3 has historically offered “a safe space for a community of Jewish creatives to take risks and create bold new work that other London venues wouldn’t normally programme,” they wrote, adding that without this, the JW3 risked “having an adverse effect on new Jewish arts and culture in the UK.”

JW3  CEO Raymond Simonson said that over the past fortnight, “a couple of full-time and a couple of part-time JW3 members of our programming team have left the organisation”, but that it was “not appropriate” for him to comment on any individuals’ circumstances.

He rejected the suggestion that responsibility for arts and culture was being reduced to a single post, saying: “We are recruiting for some new roles, including on the arts and culture side”.

Mr Simonson added: “What I can say categorically is that our new five-year strategic plan has arts, culture, learning and social action at the core. We continue to build and develop our relationships with as wide a range of Jewish artists and creative-makers as possible and to bring new and exciting projects, performances and voices to the public.”

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