Artists receive €325 in weekly payments through the new Basic Income Pilot Scheme

Culture Minister Catherine Martin has announced that 2,000 grants will be awarded to artists under the new pilot program Basic Income for the Arts.

During the life of the program, 2,000 eligible artists and cultural professionals will receive payments of €325 per week.

Ms Martin said today was a “historic day” for the arts sector in Ireland and a “significant change” in the way Ireland recognizes and supports its artists.

“The basic income for the arts pilot project is a one-off initiative,” she said.

“It is a powerful statement of the value that Ireland places in arts and artistic practice, both for their intrinsic value and in terms of our personal and collective well-being, and also in terms of their importance to our identity and cultural distinctiveness on the global stage.”

The program received more than 9,000 applications, of which over 8,200 were deemed eligible and entered through a randomized anonymous selection process.

The group of 2,000 scholarship holders includes representatives of all art forms, ages, ethnicities and countries.

Among them are 707 visual artists, 584 musicians, 204 film artists, 184 writers, 173 actors and theater artists, 32 dancers and choreographers, 13 circus artists and 10 architects. 3pc or 54 of these selected works through the Irish language.

A basic income for the arts was the key recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce set up by Minister Martin in 2020 to look at how the sector could recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce Chair Clare Duignan said the Covid-19 pandemic is “extremely challenging” for artists and creative professionals.

Ms Duignan said the pandemic had “uncovered vulnerabilities that have existed in the Irish arts sector for decades”.

She added that the pilot program has the potential to be “truly transformative” in terms of participants’ lives and the sustainability of the sector, and should “reduce the constant level of uncertainty and insecurity that many feel in the arts sector.”

“Taskforce members agreed that establishing a basic income pilot program in the arts, culture, audiovisual and live performance and events sectors is our top priority,” she said.

“I am very pleased that the first group of successful applicants is being announced today. This is a milestone not only for grantees but also for Ireland as on this day the state officially recognizes the financial instability many artists face and values ​​the time spent developing a creative practice and to produce art.”

Eligibility for the program was based on the definition of the arts in the Arts Act 2003, which states that “Arts means any creative or interpretative expression in any form and includes, but is not limited to, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture and includes all media when used for these purposes”.

Pilot program participants will participate in a three-year research program to assess the impact of a basic income-like payment on the arts sector.

Participants must engage in an ongoing data collection program to assess the impact of a basic income-style payment on artists and their creative practice.

To help with this, 1,000 eligible applicants who were not selected to receive payment were selected to participate in a control group to help evaluate the pilot. Artists receive €325 in weekly payments through the new Basic Income Pilot Scheme

Fry Electronics Team

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