The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania announced today that it will be the first museum certified by W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), the New York–based activist organization that advocates for artists to receive fair compensation from the institutions that contract their work. The ICA joins a group of more than fifty certified institutions, including the Swiss Institute, Artists Space, and Locust Projects.
“ICA’s commitment to artists is at the core of everything we do. Our partnership with W.A.G.E. helps to set a new standard in the museum field, one that ensures equitable environments for the artists with whom we work,” said ICA director Amy Sadao.“We’re proud to be the first museum to join this diverse group of arts and culture institutions across the U.S. who are certified, and hope that it will encourage other museums to do the same.”
Founded in 2008, W.A.G.E. applauded the ICA for becoming certified. The move “demonstrates that a museum is capable of meeting external payment standards, and more importantly that those standards can be set by workers,” the organization said in a statement.
W.A.G.E. fees are calculated based on an institution’s total annual operating budget. With a $4.8 million budget, the ICA is responsible for tracking all fee payments and remaining compliant by ensuring W.A.G.E. minimum standards are met for a minimum of one year.