Art & Museum Workers Openly Share Their Salaries in Act of Solidarity

Last Friday, a google document circulated the museum world listing the salaries of museum workers. Michelle Millar Fisher, an assistant curator of European sculpture and design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and unnamed collaborators initiated the data gathering. The doc, “Arts + All Museums Salary Transparency 2019,” is open to the public and invites art and museum workers to list their institution’s name (or at least the region, size, and type), role, department, starting/ending salary, along with other information including the respondent’s race and gender. (Since its initial posting, Michelle has moved the doc to a more secure link accessible above.) This is a worker-initiated effort to make wages across the museum world more transparent. As of today, the doc has grown to include over 600 listings. If you work in the arts or museums, add to the list! Take a look and start a conversation with your co-workers!

In an ArtNet article, Michelle said she made the doc in a few minutes in her car and, “I hope it encourages a conversation between coworkers. If you don’t do it, everything stays the same. Sometimes it takes just one tiny action. Solidarity is the only way to affect great change.”

Marabou is encouraged by this act of solidarity among museum workers in the US and beyond. Wage information can be difficult to access, but is also something that is often thought of a taboo discussion topic. Art and museum workers are notoriously underpaid, but this doc can start many conversations – not just about wages, but about employment trends in race and gender, and barriers to entry to industry jobs that do pay a lot – which are often dependent on class and nepotism.

Thank you, Michelle and collaborators for initiating this important act of art & museum worker solidarity!

Read the Google Doc: Arts + All Museums Salary Transparency 2019 

Add to the Google Doc: Input to Arts + All Museums Salary Transparency 2019

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