Washington Lawyers for the Arts Programs
Through our biweekly Arts Legal Clinic (active since our founding in 1976), artists and arts organizations are able to consult with volunteer attorneys specializing in intellectual property, tax, corporate and arts and entertainment law on the diverse and important issues facing artists and arts organizations. Musicians, filmmakers, photographers, painters, writers, glassblowers all find attention to their particular arts legal issue.
Monthly Brown Bag Seminars provide an opportunity for artists, attorneys, paralegals, administrators of arts organizations and anyone interested to educate themselves on important, discipline-specific subjects. Knowledgeable attorneys volunteer their time and expertise to present these seminars on topics such as, tax issues artists face, copyright issues for film-makers, photographers, the internet and video games, website development issues, issues concerning public art, galleries and museums.
WLA's Speakers Bureau program answers requests from local community and arts organizations and educational institutions to bring to them presentations specific to their audience on arts-related legal issues. With this program we extend WLA's reach, both in type of artists, and geographic location. Audiences gain increased awareness of their basic legal rights and responsibilities within a comfortable forum for discussion.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Our Arts Legal Clinic often supplies help to artists just beginning, or at critical points in their careers. Often we don't hear until later how much the help mattered, and what resulted in the artist's career from the help. One such instance is the very successful film, "Unlisted," produced recently by Delaney Ruston, a form client. Her story can be seen at our website: www.thewla.org/SpotlightOn.html.
WLA needs a half time administrator, and a lot of enthusiastic volunteer time. Our budget is very small, but because we are helping artists who often can afford very little, we always need donation and grant support to make ends meet. We have good years and tight years, and are always open to the help of friends who believe in our work.