During an interview I did with young artist/activist Nia King I said that when we refuse to pay artists we sentence ourselves to a world without art by women, people of color and queer people. One of the biggest challenges that artists on the margins face is the belief that they don't deserve payment for their work. When I think of the world I want to live in it is filled with books, music, dance, theatre, murals, paintings and poetry that are engineered by people whose world view is informed by their struggle and their stories. When we don't pay artists to do their work we play a role in perpetuating an experience that is available only to those who can fund their way through schools and shows, we decrease the number of people who can create art, we undermine their value and our own, and we create an unsustainable and unjust model of unpaid labor. I've worked for free in the past and I've asked artists to work for free in the past, but I'm ready to take back the stage. I'm asking you to pledge with me to do this work together. I'm asking that you pledge to pay for art, and if you're an artist that you pledge to request payment. Once you pledge, you will receive a confirmation email and then you will receive an email that includes "10 Ways to Start Taking Back The Stage" and a pledge icon that you can put on your website, blog or social media page. We can do this work - of revaluing art and empowering artists. Art provides us with ways of understanding our world and of experiencing its complexity and I hope you'll join me in this incredible and exciting undertaking!