It’s been a quick think-tanking, but after discussing the brainstorm with a half-dozen trusted and committed people in the local arts scene I’m feeling really confident in the first tangible idea to come out of Muse:forward: PAY YOUR WAGE.
A fix for deflated cover charges, the idea is that we adopt a new norm, a standard sliding scale, for going to shows: pay what you would make in an hour. If that’s minimum wage cool, if you make more that’s great, chip in a little more. This could transform our deflated arts economy overnight in a way that is fair.
But this isn’t a price-hike by bands or venues — it’s an opt-in system like tipping at a restaurant, so it’s all about buy-in from all of us when we go to shows. The great part is, there’s nothing preventing it from starting right now: if you go to a $5 show and pay $9 or $15, they aren’t going to turn it down! But to make it count, we need to let everyone know about the plan and get everyone on board.
It’s a bottom-up fix and in the spirit of the Portland community. Please feel free to share and distribute this image!