Working Artists and the Greater Economy


What is W.A.G.E.? Working Artists and the Greater Economy is a New York-based activist organization founded in 2008. Our mission is to establish sustainable economic relationships between artists and the institutions that contract our labor, and to introduce mechanisms for self-regulation into the art field that collectively bring about a more equitable distribution of its economy. 

Why? Read our womanifesto.


How? Since 2008 we have been collecting data, writing texts and open letters, making speeches, videos and graphics, conducting research, teaching, paneling and lecturing. Find 10 years of W.A.G.E.'s ongoing work and other resources here.

What is W.A.G.E. Certification? W.A.G.E. Certification is a national program initiated and operated by W.A.G.E. that publicly recognizes those nonprofit arts organizations demonstrating a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees that meet our minimum payment standards

How many have been W.A.G.E. Certified? 72


Who is W.A.G.E. Certified? Certified Institutions


What is WAGENCY? Launched on September 17th 2018, WAGENCY is a transactional platform and certification program that facilitates the fair remuneration of artists' labor in the nonprofit sector. Supplying artists with digital tools and the necessary collective agency to negotiate W.A.G.E. fees or withhold content when not paid them, WAGENCY is how we propose to organize an unpaid workforce in an unregulated field.




Does W.A.G.E. address the commercial market? W.A.G.E. is working on an updated and modular version of Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky's 1971 The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer And Sale Agreement on blockchain.  


Does W.A.G.E. collaborate with other groups? W.A.G.E. is a founding member and co-author of The People's Cultural Plan, and has over the years been fortunate to engage with the Alliance of Artists Communities, AnkhLave Arts Alliance, The Architecture Lobby, Art Handler, Art Handlers Alliance of New York, ArtLeaks, Art Workers Council Frankfurt/M (Germany), The Artists Information Company (a-n, UK), Artists of Color Bloc, Artists Rights Society, Artist Studio Affordability Project, Artists Union England (UK, Artquest London (UK), ARTS.BLACK, BFAMFAPHD, CARFAC (Canada), Common Field, Common Practice London, Common Practice New York, Compensation Foundation, Decolonize This Place, Disability/Arts/NYC (DANT), Free Slow University (Poland), Glass Bead (France), Guerrilla Girls, Gulf Labor, G.U.L.F., Haben & Brauchen (Germany), HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN, Intern Labor Rights, Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste (IGBK, Germany), MayDay Rooms (UK), Model Alliance, Murphy Institute, Museum Hue, National Performance Network, National Writers Union, Norwegian Association of Curators (Norway), Occupy Museums, OWS Arts & Labor, Platform BK (Netherlands), Precarious Workers Brigade (UK), Reko (Sweden), Scottish Artists Union (UK), Teamsters Local 814, Unge Kunstneres Samfund/Young Artists’ Society (UKS, Norway), as well as the ILR School of Cornell University’s Arts and Entertainment Worker Resource Center in coalition with Actors' Equity, American Guild of Musical Artists, IATSE Local 764, IATSE Local 798, Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild, Local 802 Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Writers Guild of America, East.