I first established W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) certification of commitment to paying artists fair wages at The Art Gym at Marylhurst University in 2017. The Art Gym was the first organization in Oregon to certify. Later I brought W.A.G.E. to Disjecta Contemporary Art Center as the 50th organization in the country to certify. I advocate for all organizations to pay artists at W.A.G.E. levels or as close as possible, to acknowledge the cultural contribution and work towards living wages for artists.
I’ve worked to advocate for women and minorities throughout my career. After joining Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, I worked behind the scenes to shift DEI practices, particularly around the Biennial. With the selection of co-curators Yaelle S. Amir, Elisheba Johnson, and Ashley Stull Meyers, the Portland2019 Biennial became the most representative Biennial in the organization’s history including 3/4 women, 2/3 makers of color, and 1/3 Indigenous artists. These curators thoughtfully presented works by visual and performing artists and examined the form of the ‘regional biennial’ as a locally concentrated infusion of resources for artists in various stages of their careers.
In all organizations, I have increased the resources for artists including increased art production funding at Disjecta and the Art Gym, and guaranteed publications at the Art Gym through a specific fund. Prior to that, funding at both organizations had been primarily grant contingent.