Miguel Gutierrez's Strongly Worded Emails About Art and Money
This past March, choreographer Miguel Gutierrez posted a call on his Instagram. It asked performing arts institutions to honor their commitments to artists like him, who were no longer able to perform publicly because of the pandemic. "The first thing I noticed was all the cancellation emails and their complete, uh, lack of acknowledgement of a financial component," Miguel told me. "Like, you have the money in your budget, right? So pay me." While Miguel wanted to make sure he was compensated for his work, he also told me that he's been reexamining his relationship to performing. "There's a whole other part of me that’s like, do I ever want to tour again, actually?" he told me. "I actually crave certain kinds of normalcy that are just part of other people's lives." We talked about the years it took for him to learn how to manage his finances as someone living gig-to-gig, how getting sober helped him get out of years of debt, and how he was able to make ends meet this year.