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artists grant

2,000 artists to receive weekly payments of €325 under pilot Basic Income scheme

It’s part of a research project to assess the impact of a basic-income-style payment on the sector.

2,000 GRANTS HAVE been awarded to artists and creative arts workers through the new Basic Income for the Arts scheme.

The three-year pilot programme provides the chosen artists with €325 per week.

It’s part of a research project to assess the impact of a basic-income-style payment on the arts sector. 

The scheme is being run by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, with €25 million being allocated to it.

Culture Minister Catherine Martin labelled it “historic day for the arts in Ireland” and said it marks a “significant change to the way Ireland recognises and supports her artists”.

She added: “It makes a strong statement about the value Ireland places on the arts, both for its intrinsic value and in terms of our personal and collective wellbeing”.

Application Process

Over 9,000 applications were made under the scheme, which included in a randomised anonymous selection process.

The group of 2,000 grant participants includes representatives from all art forms, age groups, ethnicities and counties.

This close to 584 musicians, 204 artists working in film,184 writers, 32 dancers and choreographers, and 13 circus artists.

Meanwhile, 54 of those selected work through the Irish language.

Impact of Covid

A basic income for the arts was the number one recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce which was set up by Minister Martin in 2020 to examine how the sector could adapt and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main objective of the scheme is to address the financial instability faced by many working in the arts, and to assist the sector recover post-pandemic.

Clare Duignan, Chair of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, said today is “a landmark day, not just for those receiving grants, but also for Ireland”.

She added that “it 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”.

Duignan also expressed hope that the scheme will “facilitate risk-taking and experimentation in their practice”.


Participants in the pilot scheme will take part in a three year research programme to assess the impact of a basic-income-style payment on the arts sector. 

The 2,000 recipients of the €325-a-week grant will be required to engage in an ongoing data collection programme to assess the impact on artists and their creative practice.

To assist with this, 1,000 eligible applicants who were not selected to receive the payment have been selected to participate in a control group to facilitate the evaluation of the pilot.

Minister Martin said “Ireland could lead the way on a new model to support people active in the sector” and that she looks forward to seeing the results of the research.

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