- 08 Sep 22
"Today is an historic day for the arts in Ireland and a significant change to the way Ireland recognises and supports her artists," says Minister Catherine Martin.
Kicking off the start of the Dublin Fringe Festival today, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin made a special statement – announcing that 2,000 grants for artists and creative arts workers have been awarded through the new Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme.
The three-year pilot scheme provides payments of €325 per week – with the programme aiming to assess "the impact of basic-income-style payment on the arts sector."
Over 9,000 applications were made under the scheme, with over 8,200 assessed as eligible and included in a randomised anonymous selection process.
The group of 2,000 grant participants 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 and 10 architects. 54 of those selected work through the Irish language.
“Today is an historic day for the arts in Ireland and a significant change to the way Ireland recognises and supports her artists," Minister Martin commented. "The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme is a once-in-a-generation initiative. It makes a strong statement about the value Ireland places on the arts and artistic practice, both for its intrinsic value and in terms of our personal and collective wellbeing, and also in terms of its importance to our identity and cultural distinctiveness on the global stage.”
Basic Income for the Arts was the top recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, which was set up in 2020 to examine how the sector could adapt and recover from the pandemic.
The main objective of the scheme is "to address the precarious and financial instability faced by many working in the arts, and to assist the sector recover post-pandemic."
“The pandemic reinforced the fact that each and every person relies on and leans into the arts during times of need," the Minister stated, "and every person was reminded of the true value of artists and their work during the last two years as we listened to music, read poetry and watched films to get ourselves through those difficult days. And it is the arts that will help us make sense of what happened and help us shape the future. With so much uncertainty in the world now including the war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, and huge cost of living increases, we need the arts more than ever to help inspire us to imagine and create a better future for ourselves.”
The 2,000 participants in the pilot scheme will be required to engage in an ongoing data collection programme to assess the impact of the basic income payment. 1,000 eligible applicants who were not selected to receive the payment were selected to participate in "a control group to facilitate the evaluation of the pilot."
Artists and creative arts workers were notified about the outcome of their applications via email this morning, September 8. For more information see here.
Minister Martin made the announcement at the National Stadium in Dublin this morning, at a press conference marking the start of Dublin Fringe Festival.
Running from September 10–25, the multi-disciplinary festival will feature 586 performances in 27 venues, and 430 artists showcasing unmissable art experiences for 16 days and nights.