Thousands Apply for Artists’ Basic Income Pilot Program

There have been nearly 6,000 applicants for the Basic Income pilot program which will see 2,000 artists paid €325 over the next three years.

The most recent figures show there were 5,792 applicants, with government sources expecting the number to rise to nearly 7,000.

The program opened for applications on April 12 and ends this Thursday at 1 p.m.

However, only 2,000 artists will be chosen through a random selection process which will not be competitive.

The largest number of applicants to the program come from those working in the visual arts sector, followed by those involved in music, then film and literature.

Unsuccessful but eligible applicants will be invited to participate in a “control group” which will conduct an evaluation of the pilot project.

The €30 million scheme aims to allow artists to focus on their work without having to find jobs in other sectors to support themselves.

Artists with disabilities have expressed concerns about their eligibility for the pilot and whether or not they will lose their payments if accepted into the program.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Arts and Culture said the payment would be treated as self-employment and would not affect disability benefits.

Arts Minister Catherine Martin told the Irish Independent that those who are eligible should apply and it was ‘promising’ to see high levels of ‘enthusiasm’.

“It is promising to see the level of enthusiasm for this program from the sector and applications are coming in at a rapid pace.

She also said it was a “defining moment” .

“The initiative makes a statement about our values ​​as a nation – that artists’ voices have been heard and that the arts matter.

“I believe this is a watershed moment in funding for artistic practice in Ireland.

“This is a unique opportunity to research the impact a Basic Income could have on the arts and provide evidence of ongoing support,” she said.

Such a pilot project was the first recommendation of the task force on the revival of arts and culture.

The pilot scheme is also an opportunity for the government to learn how “the role of the artist in Irish society can be protected and nurtured”, a senior source said.

About John Villalpando

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