Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

MFA in Dance

First Advisor

Peggy Gould


The future of art in America is in a process of being reimagined by cultural workers so that tangible connections can be drawn between attaching value to the creation of cultural capital and strategies for supporting equitable working conditions.

The current system, with its hierarchical leadership strategies, neglects the well-being of its workers and fosters an environment wherein artists are unable to sustain their creative practices within an extractivist model of labor production. Especially vulnerable to being affected negatively by these conditions are marginalized artists who lack outside financial resources.

This document surveys aspirational visioning projects currently underway within the arts sector which reimagine a more equitable system of remuneration for cultural workers including the work of Creating New Futures, Working Artists and the Greater Economy and Dance Artists National Collective. In surveying solidarity efforts, this research traces the influence of collective institutional critiques on individual artists engaged in the struggle for parity of incomes between cultural workers and non-cultural workers.

Drawing on several contemporary authors’ analyses of US labor history as well as first hand experience to inform the inquiry as a whole, the research examines how collective efforts can serve to destigmatize conversations surrounding parity. When populations of laborers are empowered to speak up about inequities within their workplaces, they can exert more pressure on institutions to change thus challenging the stigma that is commonly attached to such conversations.

Findings contribute to a conclusion that provides some evidence of hope for increasing equity in the cultural labor sector by means of ongoing mobilization of cultural workers working in solidarity with those in struggle towards a more equitable society.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.