2,000 Artists and Arts Workers Awarded Basic Income

Minister Catherine Martin

2,000 Artists and Arts Workers Awarded Basic Income

Recipients will receive €325 per week for three years as part of pilot scheme.

Minister for Arts Catherine Martin has today (8 September) announced that 2,000 artists and arts workers have been awarded a basic income of €325 per week for three years as part of the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme.

The scheme was the main recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce’s report published in November 2020 during the pandemic. Following a public consultation, the scheme opened for applications in April of this year  and it was announced today that there were over 9,000 applications. 8,200 were assessed as eligible and 2,000 were selected through a randomised anonymous selection process, overseen by the financial accountants EY.

The group of 2,000 includes representatives from all art forms, age groups, ethnicities and counties. This includes 707 visual artists, 584 musicians, 204 artists working in film, 184 writers, 173 actors and artists working in theatre, 32 dancers and choreographers, 13 circus artists, 10 architects and 8 working in opera. 3% or 54 of those selected work through the Irish language.

There were three categories under which applicants could apply: practising artists, creative arts workers, and recently trained. 84% of those selected identified as practising artists, 9% as creative arts workers, and 7% as recently trained.

Participants in the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will take part in a three-year research programme to assess the impact of the payment on the arts sector. 1,000 eligible applicants who were not selected to receive the payment will also participate in the research to facilitate the evaluation of the pilot.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister Martin said:

The Basic Income for the Arts pilot, an initiative endorsed by the whole Government, has the potential to fundamentally transform how we support the arts and creativity. Ireland could lead the way on a new model to support people active in the sector, recognising its importance to all people. I know that there will be a lot of disappointed people today who applied and didn’t get selected. I am very grateful to everyone who took the time to apply and I understand their disappointment. I want to thank everyone who took the time to apply and congratulate those who have been selected to take part. 

Clare Duignan, Chair of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, added:

This is a landmark day, not just for those receiving grants, but also for Ireland, as it is the day that the state formally recognises the financial instability faced by many working in the arts and places a value on the time spent developing a creative practice and producing art. This pilot has the potential to be genuinely transformative in terms of the lives of participants and the sustainability of the sector, and should reduce the constant level of uncertainty and insecurity felt by many in the arts sector. 

For further information on the scheme, visit www.gov.ie/BasicIncomeArts.

Published on 8 September 2022

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