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27 Artists today granted Basic Income for the Arts – replacing declined offers

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and the Media, today announced the awarding of 27 grants for artists through the new Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme. These are not additional grants, rather a total of 2,000 places are available on the scheme and 27 grantees declined the offer to participate making 27 replacement grant places available.


Minister Martin said:

Today I was pleased to inform 27 artists that they had been selected to participate in the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme. These places became available to replace 27 applicants who declined their offers to participate in the scheme.  Over 6,000 applicants who were eligible for the Basic Income but had not already been selected to participate were included in an anonymised randomised selection to fill the 27 spots.  I expect the first payments to issue in the coming weeks.” 

Over 9,000 applications were made under the scheme with over 8,200 assessed as eligible and included in a randomised anonymous selection process in August.  2,000 places were available and offers were made to the 2,000 selected artists in early September.  As expected not all applicants were in a position to avail of the scheme and 27 or 1.4% turned down the grant for a variety of reasons including, no longer living in Ireland, having taken up full-time education and no longer working in the arts.  The Minister wanted to ensure that all 2,000 places were availed of, therefore all eligible applicants who were not previously selected to participate were included in further randomised selection to fill the 27 spots. It is anticipated that payments for the scheme will commence shortly and recipients have been informed of this.

Information on the eligibility criteria and guidelines for the pilot scheme can be found 



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Key points of the scheme:

Overall, BIA aims to:

  • pilot a sector-specific support for the arts, in the form of a basic income, to recognise the value of time spent on creative practice, and for arts workers who make a key contribution to the creative production process;
  • enable artists and creative arts workers to focus on artistic production/practice without having to enter into employment in other sectors to sustain themselves;
  • support participants to develop their practice by providing income during periods when practice and portfolio are being developed;
  • give recognition to the value of the arts and the role of creative practice in Irish society;
  • minimise the loss of skill and experience from the arts sector.
  • 2,000 recipients were randomly selected from the pool of over 8,000 eligible applicants. EY were contracted as independent verifiers for the selection process to oversee that selection was both random and anonymous.
  • Participants will receive the payment – set at €325 per week – paid on a monthly basis.
  • Participants will be required to take part in the research programme, which will require them to collect and share data on a number of topics including, but not limited to, the following:
  • Details of  time spent on various activities including creative practice, working in the arts, work in other sectors, training, professional development, leisure time etc.;
  • Income earned from the arts and other sectors including household income;
  • Demographic data e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, disability status, art form, geographic location etc.;
  • Wellbeing indicators.
  • Data collected will be anonymised in the evaluation of the scheme and data will be evaluated at an aggregate and not individual level.
  • As this is a research pilot there is no guarantee that funding will continue after the pilot.
  • An evaluation of the scheme will be conducted on an ongoing basis to determine the impact of the grant payment.
  • It was a non-competitive process, therefore once a person satisfied the eligibility criteria they were included in a randomised selection process.
  • 1,000 unsuccessful but eligible applicants were 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 will also be reckonable for the purposes of income tax. 
  • Eligibility was 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”.
  • A creative arts worker is someone who has a creative practice and whose creative work makes a key contribution to the production, interpretation or exhibition of the arts.