What Happened at the Hearing on Bill to Protect Artists?

On Wednesday September 22nd, Ward 4 Council-member Muriel Bowser convened a hearing of the Public Services and Community Affairs committee to consider Bill B18-451. Positive support for the bill was provided by Council-member Bowser in her statement at the hearing, and in testimony from: the DC Bar Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section; the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts; Marvin Bowser; Janet Fries; Lavinia Wohlfarth; George Koch; and Robert Bettmann. The bill addresses a loophole in existing code pertaining to consignment, which is a constant and necessary part of the visual arts economy. This bill will ensure that after artists and collectors have invested in work, that work is protected from inappropriate seizure. Council-member Bowser’s committee must now report out from the hearing, including any recommendations for amendment, following which the bill may be scheduled for consideration by the council of the whole. To see background on this issue, click here.


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