Thanks to the W.A.G.E., which stands for Working Artists and the Greater Economy, arts non-profits can become W.A.G.E. Certified. This means that they voluntarily agree to pay artists a minimum fee. W.A.G.E. has been working long and hard since 2008 to address inequity in the arts, and eventually narrowed their focus to the rampant issue of artist non-payment. As we all know, the empty promise of exposure doesn’t pay our bills.
Creative workers deserve to be paid just like any other workers, and W.A.G.E is breaking ground and making history with their efforts and this program.
I have always looked up to W.A.G.E. as being able to successfully organize and mobilize artists, academics, arts organizations, and writers to challenge the status quo and start shifting the current paradigm.
Ironically, while W.A.G.E. is fighting for the rights of artists to be paid, they themselves are not getting paid. Please consider donating to their fundraising campaign so that they can get paid for their work. And if you cannot donate, please share the information.
Do you have a story about not getting paid for your work — an unpaid internship, an exhibit that promises exposure or a blog that promises the same? What’s your story? We are seeking written or video submissions for our Artist Stories online library, a social justice project, and would love to hear from you.