About The Data

This section provides information about how the data was gathered, what data is missing and why, and an FAQ of relevant data points.


How The Data Was Gathered

The data set was assembled from 2 distinct phases of W.A.G.E. Certification’s administration: 

1) Data gathered manually prior to the program's automation in August, 2017.

2) Data gathered using the platform’s automated fee tracking tool after August, 2017.


During the first phase, institutions submitted payment records yearly in Excel spreadsheet form. Compliance with the minimum standard was enforced by manually checking each fee against the assigned minimum for every institution, and for each category. The data gathered during this period accounts for 41% or 2,877 of the 6,970 fee payments on record. Of these payments, 455 were made before W.A.G.E. Certification’s launch (December 6, 2013 – October 12, 2014). These records were submitted by institutions as proof of having paid fees in order to qualify for certification and were later incorporated into the W.A.G.E. platform as retroactive certifications. 3% of pre-launch payments fall below the W.A.G.E. minimum, but these payments were made before W.A.G.E. standards were introduced. The data gathered in the second phase constitutes 59% of the data set and is made up of 4,092 fee payments. These records are largely complete in all categories.


Missing Data

W.A.G.E. has certified 77 institutions in total. The data set includes payment records from 68 of those institutions across 15 fee categories. 9 institutions did not or would not submit records of having paid W.A.G.E. fees during the year(s) they were certified. In total there are 20 fiscal years of data missing. In addition, 21 institutions did not update their tracked fees for the current fiscal year in progress. These missing fee payment records range from 1 to 9 months in length. During the first phase of the program's administration, W.A.G.E. did not consistently track word count or hours in the categories Commissioned Text for Publication, Existing Text for Publication, and Day Rate for Performers resulting in a limited amount of missing data for these categories within the first 3 years.


Data Point FAQ

What is the total amount paid out in artist fees? $5,557,516
How many fee payments were there in total? 6,970
How many fee payments were analyzed in the data? 6,839
What is date the range for the fee payments? December 6th, 2013 - November 16th, 2019
What is the range in operating budget size? $12,000 - $93,697,957
How many museums have been certified? 3
How many certificates has W.A.G.E. issued in total? 249
How many institutions have closed? 6
How many institutions opted out after one year of certification? 6
How many institutions have opted out in total? 9
What is the average number of years an institution remains certified? 2.5
How many institutions in total have been certified? 77
In how many different cities? 32
In how many different states? 21
Which institutions have been certified?

1708 Gallery (Richmond, VA)

3Arts, Inc. (Chicago, IL)

Alliance of Artists Communities (Providence, RI)

Art Gym (Portland, OR)

Art League Houston (Houston, TX)

Art Students League of Denver (Denver, CO)

ArtBridge (New York, NY)

Artists Space (New York, NY)

Artspace New Haven (New Haven, CT)

Asia Art Archive in America (New York, NY)

Bas Fisher Invitational (Miami, FL)

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York (New York, NY)

Black Cube (Denver, CO)

Blank Forms (New York, NY)

Blue Star Contemporary (San Antonio, TX)

BURNAWAY (Atlanta, GA)

c:3initiative (Portland, OR)

Carnegie Int’l 57th ed., 2018 (Pittsburgh, PA)

China Residencies (New York, NY)

Clockshop (Los Angeles, CA)

CUE Art Foundation (New York, NY)

Culture Mill (Saxapahaw, NC)

Culture Push (New York, NY)

Darger HQ (Omaha, NE)

Disjecta (Portland, OR)

DiverseWorks (Houston, TX)

EFA Project Space (New York, NY)

Eyebeam (New York, NY)

FD13 Residency (St Paul, MN)

Franklin Furnace Archive (New York, NY)

Handwerker Gallery (Ithaca, NY)

Happy Family Night Market (New York, NY)

Houston Center for Photography (Houston, TX)

Indexical (Santa Cruz, CA)

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

ISSUE Project Room (New York, NY)

Jacob Lawrence Gallery (Seattle, WA)

Jonah Boekar (New York, NY)

LAXART (Los Angeles, CA)

Light Industry Cinema Projects, Ltd. (New York, NY)

Locust Projects (Miami, FL)

Loghaven Artist Residency (Knoxville, TN)

Machine Project (Los Angeles, CA)

MassArt Art Museum (Boston, MA)

MINT (Atlanta, GA)

Mizna (Minneapolis, MN)

Neu Kirche (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Longer Empty (New York, NY)

Omaha Creative Institute (Omaha, NE)

Open Source Gallery (New York, NY)

Open Space (San Francisco, CA)

Participant Inc (New York, NY)

Performance Space New York (New York, NY)

Primary Information (New York, NY)

Recess (New York, NY)

River Valley Arts Collective (Hudson Valley, NY)

Rose Art Museum (Waltham, MA)

SF Camerawork (San Francisco, CA)

Side Street Projects (Los Angeles, CA)

Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA)

Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center (Buffalo, NY)

Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art (New York, NY)

The Artist's Institute (New York, NY)

The Lab (San Francisco, CA)

The Lighthouse Works (Fishers Island, NY)

The New Foundation Seattle (Seattle, WA)

The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN)

Threewalls (Chicago, IL)

Transformer (Washington, DC)

Triple Canopy (New York, NY)

University of Maryland Art Gallery (College Park, ML)

Vera List Center (New York, NY)

Verge Center of the Arts (Sacramento, CA)

Washington Project for the Arts (Washington, DC)

Wave Pool (Cincinnati, OH)

Weavers Guild of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)

Yale Union (Portland, OR)

What kinds of institutions have been certified?

Annual Festival

Live Music and Performance


Publishing Platform

Publishing Platform (Artist's Books)

Research Center and Public Forum

Residency Program

Residency Program/Live Music and Performance

Residency Program/Service/Grantmaking

Residency Program/Service/Grantmaking/Presenting

Residency Program/Visual Arts Presenting

Service Organization

Service Organization/Grantmaking

Visual Arts Presenting

Visual Arts Presenting (Public Art)

Visual Arts Presenting (Quinquennial)

Visual Arts Presenting & Service Organization

Visual Arts Presenting in Temporary Spaces

Visual Arts Presenting Museum

What are W.A.G.E.'s 15 Fee Categories?
1. Solo Exhibition

An exhibition focused on a single artist. It may extend across a full floor or a series of spaces or include a series of programs. It may involve existing, new and commissioned work and often involves the presentation of a number of different works and the publication of a catalog. A Solo Exhibition is defined as inclusive of a range of content and services, including some of the categories listed below (performances, programming, screenings).


2. Solo Project

The presentation of commissioned work by a single artist that comprises a single work, body of work or project, and is smaller in scale than a Solo Exhibition.


3. 2-Person Exhibition

An exhibition focused on the work of two artists. This may involve existing, new or commissioned work.


4. Group Exhibition, 3 - 5 Artists

An exhibition focused on the work of three to five artists. This includes works of performance.


5. Group Exhibition, 6+ Artists

An exhibition focused on the work of six or more artists, including a recurring survey exhibition such as a biennial. This includes works of performance.


6. Performance of Existing Work

For each performance of an existing work. Fees in this category are paid to the Contracted Artist. For fees to other performers see "Day Rate for Performers".


7. Performance, Commission of New Work

A new performance work commissioned by a host institution. Fees in this category are paid to the Contracted Artist. Fees to other performers are dispensed under 'Day Rate for Performers'.


8. Solo Screening with In-Person Appearance

The screening of a film or video accompanied by an in-person appearance by the artist. The fee is separate and distinct from any rental fees paid to a film distributor. The continuous screening of a film or video in an exhibition is covered under the exhibition categories listed above. In the case of both single and continuous screening in an exhibition context, institutions are not required to pay an artist fee if a fee is paid to a distributor.


9. Event with Presentations or Performances by 2 or More Participants

A single event with solo presentations or performances by two or more participants. This may include works such as, but not limited, to performances, screenings, or readings. 


10. Talk, Discussion, or Workshop with 2 or More Participants

A single event with the simultaneous or shared participation of two or more participants.


11. Existing Talk, Presentation or Reading

The delivery by a single participant of an existing talk or visual presentation of works, or the reading of a text to an audience.


12. Commissioned Talk or Presentation

The delivery by a single participant of a new presentation or talk. Criteria for what constitutes new content must be negotiated between artist and institution.


13. Existing Text for Publication

The reprinting of an existing text in a publication issued by an organization.


14. Commissioned Text for Publication

A new essay or text commissioned for publication by an organization. (Copyright remains with the artist/author: payment of a fee does not render the commission "work for hire.")


15. Day Rate for Performers

Fees paid to performers participating in commissioned and existing performances created by the Contracted Artist. Fees are paid to performers directly by the organization. ‘Performers’ include all persons who may be understood as performers, whether called Facilitators, Re-performers, Caretakers or other.