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58 Limerick artists will become some of the first recipients of new Arts Pilot Scheme

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Arts Pilot Scheme will allow 2,000 artists and arts workers to earn €325 a week under the new Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme.

A pioneering pilot scheme to support artists and creative arts workers

Arts Pilot Scheme has been driven by Catherine Martin who has led the way to trial this within the arts. 

The scheme is described as a once-in-a-generation basic income, with those who qualify receiving €325 per week, paid monthly, as part of a research project on the impact of a basic income.

58 Limerick artists were selected through a randomised anonymous selection process.

Over 9,000 people applied for the pilot scheme, with 2,000 across the country set to benefit. Many people working in the Arts Sector face precarious employment, with income varying commission to commission, gig to gig.

Trialling a basic income in the sector will allow these artists to fully engage with their creative practices with the security of income certainty.

Minister Catherine Martin has led the way to trial this within the arts. As Minister for the Arts, during a really challenging time for the sector, it has been her mission to support artists – not just to survive the difficulties of Covid, but to really thrive through that time and into the future.

The learnings from this pilot will inform how they can continue to sustain and grow Ireland’s reputation for punching above weight in creative talent and output.

Green Party Deputy Leader and Minister for the Arts, Catherine Martin TD Minister Martin, who has been a driving force within government in securing the pilot scheme for artists, said, “This is a historic day for the arts in Ireland. I am delighted that we are leading the way internationally with this pioneering pilot scheme to support artists and creative arts workers. We are a country with a rich heritage in the arts and this pilot recognises the need for security and support to be in place to retain the abundance of talent and experience in this country. 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.”

The 2,000 grant recipients include representatives from all art forms, age groups, ethnicities and countries including 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. 3% or 54 of those selected work through the Irish language.

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

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.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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