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? W.A.G.E. Certification was launched in 2014, but since 2008 we have been collecting data, writing texts and letters, making speeches, videos and graphics, conducting research, teaching 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? 56


Can artists participate in W.A.G.E.? For now, artists can participate by negotiating W.A.G.E. fees with the nonprofit institutions that contract their labor, and soon they will be able to join WAGENCY, a broad-based coalition and parallel Artist Certification program.


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