5 Student Officers posing in a group.

Meet your Unions: Artist Union England

Learn more about life as an artist after you graduate and what support you can access with Zita Holbourne from Artist Union England.

Date Thursday 02 May 2024

Time 2pm - 3:30pm

Location Chelsea Lecture Theatre (MB_AG06)


£0.00 (Student)


Learn more about life as an artist after you graduate and what support you can access with Zita Holbourne from Artist Union England.


Zita Holbourne is a multi-award winning visual artist, poet, writer and vocalist, a trade union leader, community activist, equality / human rights campaigner, educator and public speaker. 

She us Joint National Chair of Artists' Union England (AUE) and represents AUE on the Executive Committee of the General Federation of Trade Unions. She is co-chair of Public Services International (PSI)  Education Support and Culture Sector Workers Network and the author of the PSI Manifesto for Culture Workers. She is the former National Vice President of the Public and Commercial Services Union and until 2022 was elected to the Trades Union Congress Race Relations and Women’s Committees and the European Public Services Union National and European Administrations Committee. 

She is the co-founder and National Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK and a founding member of African Caribbean and Asian Lawyers For Justice, BME Lawyers For Grenfell, Movement Against Xenophobia and Windrush Day of Action.

Her creative practice is centred around equality, freedom, justice and rights and she has exhibited art and performed poetry around the world.

She is part of the UNESCO Coalition of Artists for the General History of Africa and was curator of the TUC Roots Culture Identity art exhibition 2013 to 2023. She has featured in exhibitions at the Tate and Victoria and Albert Museum, her globe sculpture for The World Reimagined has been displayed at Trafalgar Square and Leicester Museum and is now permanently at the Black Cultural Archives.

She is the author of the book Striving for Equality Freedom and Justice and has contributed to over 40 books.

Zita is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales Trinity St David, winner of the Jessica Kingsley Writing Prize, winner of the Caribbean Global Prize for Outstanding Art and Culture, runner up:  Sheila McKechnie Campaigner of the Year, listed as one of the top ten campaigners / politicians in the Ethnicity Awards 2022 and listed as an inspiration role model on the Global Diversity List 2023.


About AUE

Artists’ Union England is a trade union for professional visual and applied artists established in 2014. They aim to represent artists at strategic decision-making levels and positively influence the value and role artists play within society. 

A union for people in applied arts, socially engaged art, moving image, sound and performance. 

  • We are a trade union for visual and applied artists and artists with a socially engaged practice.
  • We are a campaigning union and also  offer training, tax guidance, public and products liability insurance, and 30 minutes of free legal advice.


Photo credit: Josimar Senior / Black Writers Guild.

Please get in touch if the cost of travel is a barrier for you to attend this event as we can support you and reimburse your travel costs.