If you are interested in becoming W.A.G.E. Certified please make sure to read the guidelines and use the Fee Calculator before you begin an application below. W.A.G.E. standards are minimum fees and do not reflect living wage standards. If your institution can afford to pay more, it should. All institutonal information and payment documentation are kept confidential.
Please note that most W.A.G.E. Certified institutions produce programs with artists that do not fit precisely within W.A.G.E. Certification's 15 fee categories. These programs can usually be accommodated, please contact us directly.
You can apply to be certified for previous, current or upcoming fiscal years, but because W.A.G.E. Certification is intended as an ongoing commitment to equity, they must be consecutive. Certifications are associated with fiscal years and need to be completed and maintained year by year. Maintenance involves logging each of your fee payments using the Fee Tracking tool and submitting them for review at the close of each fiscal year.
Current Fiscal Year
If your organization has met W.A.G.E. standards consistently during your current fiscal year, you can apply to be certified while you are still in it as long as you log all fee payments by the end of the fiscal year.
Upcoming Fiscal Year
If your organization is preparing to meet W.A.G.E. standards in the next fiscal year, you can apply to be certified for that year as long as its start date is within 90 days.
Previous Fiscal Year
If your organization has consistently paid artist fees according to W.A.G.E. standards or higher during a previous fiscal year, you can apply to be certified for that year after applying for a current or upcoming fiscal year. To be certified for a previous fiscal year you must log the entire history of fee payment for that year using the FEE TRACKER.
Our gallery is part of a university. Should we use the total annual operating expenses of the university to determine our fees?
No. You should use the total annual operating expenses of the gallery only, but in your projected budget you should include any in-kind support such as space, utilities, and salaries that are subsidized by the university.
Our institution contracts other kinds of freelance labor beyond the W.A.G.E. fee schedule. Are we responsible for paying them according to W.A.G.E. standards and reporting the payments we make?
No. W.A.G.E.'s 15 fee categories broadly define the work artists do in the nonprofit sector for which there were no existing payment standards and guidelines until the introduction of W.A.G.E. Certification in 2014. W.A.G.E.'s work is an effort to enforce their standardization across the sector. If your institution contracts freelance workers who provide content and services for which there are existing industry standards, such as teaching artists, graphic designers, lighting designers, or exhibition furniture fabricators, for example, your institution should compensate them accordingly.
Our institution is now W.A.G.E. Certified. Is there anything we have to do to maintain our status?
Yes. There are 2 things your institution must do:
1)Track all Fee Payments made to artists using the FEE TRACKER in Step 4. This can be done anytime as long as all payments are recorded by fiscal year-end. Once all fee payments have been entered, upload your institution's closed-out budget, and click the SUBMIT FOR REVIEW button.
2) Certifications are associated with fiscal years and need to be completed and maintained year by year. Your current certification will expire when your fiscal year does, so your institution must re-register for certification. 30 days before your certification is due to expire you'll receive an automated alert from W.A.G.E. If you don't re-register within 30 days of expiry, your institution will automatically be listed as PREVIOUSLY CERTIFIED here but as soon as you re-register it will move back into the CERTIFIED INSTITUTION list. If you wait more than 6 months to re-register, a late fee will apply, as detailed in the following answer.
How does our institution re-register for Certification when our fiscal year ends?
Once you have submitted your history of Fee Payment and closed-out budget, click ADD ANOTHER FISCAL YEAR. Enter your institution's projected total annual operating expenses for the next fiscal year along with the projected budget. Within a few days, W.A.G.E. will approve the new certification and it will become visible here.
How do we know if our institution has fallen out of status?
There are 3 ways to determine if you're out of status:
2) The dynamic SVG certificate embedded on your website will no longer display a checkmark.
3) You'll receive monthly automated notifications tracking the number of days since your certification expired.
Is there a W.A.G.E. certificate we can add to our website so that artists and funders know we're certified?
Yes. In Step 5 you'll find a dynamic SVG logo that should be embedded on your website. It's time-stamped and indicates your current certification status. When your certification expires, the certificate will no longer display the current date and you will be listed as pending.
Does W.A.G.E. charge a fee for certification?
No. W.A.G.E. Certification is a free service but we do charge a late fee for re-certifications that occur after 180 days (approximately 6 months) of your current certification's expiry. For example, if your certification ends on December 31 and you haven't uploaded your history of fee payment or registered the next certification by June 30 of the following year, you'll pay $100 to re-certify. If you wait 360 days (approximately 1 year), you'll pay $200 to re-certify. Because certification implies a long term commitment to equity on the part of an institution, certifications should be consecutive. Late fees are a mechanism for incentivizing compliance with this rule.
How do I add another user to our institution's admin?
The initial administrator associated with your institution can add another user by logging in and clicking the ADD COLLABORATOR button.
To register, enter your email address, a user password, and your institution information.