5. Supporting the status and conditions of artists through professional associations
To protect the rights of artists and to offer them support services and facilitation
The government promotes various professional associations, which serve as platforms for culture and art practitioners to exchange information, for the older generations to nurture the younger generations, and for ensuring that the rights of the art and culture practitioners are protected. Further, each association has its own direction and mandate. For example, the Association of Artists was established in 2015 with the policy of supporting professional artists. Membership is open to artists working in the public and private sectors. The Association offers support to artists and their families in their difficult times. It also gives awards for outstanding performance in the arts. The Association of Songwriters helps to protect the rights and ensure that royalties are paid to them. The Lao Writers’ Association, which was set up in the 1990s recognizes outstanding writers through the Mekong Awards and S.E.A. Write Awards. The Association also connects with Writers’ Association of neighbouring and ASEAN countries.
The professional associations nevertheless only enjoy a quasi-independent status, as most of them have been established under relevant government’s ministries and departments. While the associations have their own operational mechanism and charters, they often follow the broad direction set out by the government and therefore do not address with issues considered sensitive by the government such as censorship.
Overall, the associations aim to improve the working and living conditions of artists, which will result in higher quality cultural products.
Membership fees and fund raising through cultural events.