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Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will open to 2000 artists and creatives next week

Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will open to 2000 artists and creatives next week

The much-touted Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme was launched by the Irish government today.

The scheme will pay €325 per week to 2000 eligible artists and creative arts workers as recommended by the the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce. The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will examine, over a 3 year period, the impact of a basic income on artists and creative arts workers. The payments of €325 per week will be made to who will be selected at random and invited to take part.

The scheme was launched by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, at the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar today.

It is a big step from the government in recognising the nature of artist’s income which can often be seasonable and require time to develop rather than be like a regular salaried job.

The scheme would reduce the burden of say, writers to have some financial support while writing a book or play, a musician to write an album when not touring, a dancer to work on their creative practice and producers to have a foundation between shows, for example.

Eligibility and application process

The scheme will open for applications on Tuesday, 12 April and close on Thursday, 12 May 2022 in a non-competitive process, once a person satisfies the eligibility criteria.

Unsuccessful but eligible applicants will be invited to participate in a control group to facilitate a comprehensive ex post appraisal of the pilot. This will help evaluate the impact of the payment by comparing outcome for those who received the payment with a group of peers who were not paid the basic income over the same period.

Similar to most other income the payment will be taxable but the amount of taxation paid will depend on an individual’s personal circumstances.

Recipients of the Basic Income are entitled to earn additional income, which would also be reckonable for the purposes of income tax.

Eligibility will be based on the definition of the arts as contained in the Arts Act 2003; ““arts” means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purposes”.

The application portal is here.

Art FormProfession/Practice
Visual ArtsVisual Artist – all media, Visual Arts Curator, Illustrator
TheatreActor, Artistic Director, Comedian, Costume Designer, Director, Hair Designer, Librettist, Lighting Designer/Engineer, Make-Up Designer, Mime artist, Set Designer, Stage Designer, Sound Designer/Engineer, Playwright, Projection Designer, Prop Designer, Puppeteer
LiteratureWriter – Children’s/Young Adult, Novelist, Short-Story, Poet, Novelist, Illustrator
MusicComposer, Conductor, Singer/Musician – all genres, Lighting Designer/Engineer, Lyricist, Sound Designer/Engineer, Musical Director, Writer
DanceArtistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Repetiteur
OperaActor, Artistic Director, Costume Designer, Librettist, Lighting Designer/Engineer, Lyricist, Director, Singer, Sound Designer/Engineer, Stage Designer, , Repetiteur
FilmActor, Animator, Artistic Director, Cinematographer, Costume Designer Director, Editor, Screenwriter, Film Designer, Filmmaker, Film Editor, Lighting Designer/Engineer, Hair Designer, Make-up Designer, Prop Designer, Production Designer, Sound Designer/Engineer, Script Writer, Scenographer, Set Designer, Special Effects Designer, Scenic Artist, Visual Designer, Voice Over Artist, Writer
CircusCircus Artist – traditional and contemporary, Acrobat, Street Arts and Spectacle Artist

Who is not eligible to apply?

Arts workers like agents, managers, PR, journalists, critics, designers, event producers, wedding photographers, film crew, stage managers, students active between 2022 and 2025 and Aosdána members are not able to apply.

Administration (all art forms)Agents, Arts Administrator, Arts Fundraiser, Arts Manager, Arts Marketer, Invigilator, Box Office Staff, Box Office Manager, Company Manager, Development Manager, Front of House Team, Gallery Manager, Marketing and PR Staff, Outreach Staff, Publicist, Promoter, Site Manager, Social Media Manager, Stage Door Staff, Theatre Manager, Venue Manager
Craft MakersBasket Maker, Candle Maker, Furniture Maker, Metalsmith, Musical Instrument Maker, Jewellery Designer, Potter, Textile Maker, Wood Turner
DesignAR, VR & MR Designer, Fashion Designer, Industrial Designer, Interior Designer, Kitchen Designer, Landscape Designer, Website Designer, Pattern Cutter, Product Designer, Textile Designer, Type Setter
EducationArt Therapist, Creative Writing Teacher, Lecturer, Teacher
FilmArmourer, Assistant Stage Manager, Audio-Describer, Chaperone, Costume Supervisor, Costume Assistant, Directors Assistant, Dresser, Editorial Assistant, Film Crew, Film Critic, Fly Operator, Hair Dresser, Lighting Technician/Operator, Make-Up Artist, Production Assistant, Production Manager, Props Master, Pyrotechnics Assistant, Rigger, Runner, Set Builder, Set Dresser, Sound Technician/Operator, Stage Crew, Stage Manager, Wardrobe Supervisor, Wardrobe Assistant, Video Technician
HospitalityFront of House Staff, Bar Staff
JournalismCopy-Editor, Editor, Journalist, Photo-Journalist, Proof-Reader, Reviewer, Theatre Critic
LiteratureBook Designer, Biographer, Copy-Editor, Editor, Literary Critic, Publicist, Proof-Reader, Translator, Reviewer
MusicA&R, Event Manager, Event Producer, Event Programmer, Festival Crew, Festival Programmer, Music Manager, Studio Manager, Talent Manger, Tour Manager, Venue Manager, Voice Coach
PhotographersWedding Photographer, Photo-Journalist, Advertising Photographer
TechnicalElectrician, Lighting Technician, Rigger, Runner, Set Builder; Set Dresser, Site Manager, Sound Technician, Stage Crew
TheatreArmourer, Assistant Stage Manager, Audio-Describer, Box Office Manager, Costume Builder, Costume Supervisor, Costume Supervisor/Assistant, Dresser, Front of House Staff, Hair Dresser, Lighting Technician/Operator, Make-Up Artist, Props Master, Projection Technician, Set Builder, Set Dresser, Sound Technician/Operator, Stage Crew, Stage Manager, Theatre Manager, Wardrobe Supervisor, Wardrobe Assistant, Theatre Critic, Theatre Technician, Usher, Wig Dresser
Visual ArtsArchivist, Exhibitions Manager, Exhibitions Producer, Gallerist, Gallery Hanger, Gallery Manager, Gallery Staff, Invigilator, Studio Manager

Government quotes

“Government is committed to supporting the arts and this initiative has the potential to be truly transformative in how Ireland supports the arts in the future. Ireland’s arts and culture in all its distinctiveness and variety is the well-spring of our identity as a people and is internationally recognised. The Basic Income for the Arts is a unique opportunity for us to support our artists and creatives in the sector and ensure that the arts thrive into the future.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin

“This is a really important day for the creative arts in Ireland. Our country is world-famous for its creative industries, so it’s vital that we provide the right environment to allow artists to develop, flourish and focus on on their work. Back in 2017, as Minister for Social Protection I made it easier for self-employed creative professionals to access social welfare. Over the years we have greatly expanded the range of social insurance benefits that artists and other self-employed people benefit from. I’m very pleased that the government can now launch this pilot scheme for a basic income grant for artists and creative professionals. As an artist or creator, it can take time to get established, to build up a portfolio and develop a reputation. Even then, income can be erratic or volatile. This new grant will create a floor and a safety net for artists. I am very interested to know what we will learn from this pilot.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar:

“This announcement heralds a new era for the arts in Ireland. As our artists and creative professionals emerge from the devastating impact of the pandemic, the government is committed to providing an unprecedented level of support as they seek to rebuild their livelihoods. I want the arts not just to recover, but to flourish. That is why I secured funding to help realise this scheme, which was a key priority for me in the Budget.”

Minister Catherine Martin

Minister Martin stressed that stakeholder engagement has been central to her in the development of this policy initiative. A stakeholder consultation forum was held on the issue in December 2021 at which over 150 participants from 50 representative and resource organisations in the arts and culture sector attended. In January 2022, the department also conducted a public consultation on the issue.

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