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Basic Income for the Arts

The BIA is a pilot research programme which will inform future government policy on how best to support Ireland’s artists and creative arts workers.

A recording is now available of the Panel Discussion on Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme held with Minister Catherine Martin on Wednesday, 6th December, here.

The scheme was open for applications from the 12th April to the 12th May 2022.

For information on the scheme, please read the guidelines for applicants and, if you have specific queries, you may email .

Background to the BIA pilot scheme

The Arts and Culture Taskforce, established in September 2020, was tasked by Minister Martin with producing a report to include a set of recommendations on how best the arts and culture sector could adapt and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number one recommendation from the taskforce report "Life Worth Living Report" was to pilot a Basic Income scheme for a three-year period in the arts, culture, audio-visual and live performance and events sectors.

As part of the National Economic Recovery Plan, launched on 1 June 2021, Minister Martin secured a commitment from Government for a Basic Income Pilot Scheme for artists.

The Minister allocated €25 million as part of Budget 2022 to provide for the launch of the pilot scheme.

Scheme Development

Throughout 2021, the Department engaged in a policy development process, which has involved discussions with the Life Worth Living Oversight Group, engaging with sectoral stakeholders, convening an inter-departmental working group to assess challenges, and reviewing international research and best practice. The Department used this work to inform its proposal for a pilot Basic Income for the Arts (BIA).

Stakeholder engagement has been core to the policy development process and this has included a stakeholder forum on 15th December 2021, where over 150 participants from 50 artists and arts workers resource and representative bodies came together to discuss the proposal.

A public consultation took place throughout the month of January 2022. The purpose of the consultation was to ensure that the general public, artists and creative arts workers, and those working in the arts and culture sector have the opportunity to contribute to policy development for the pilot scheme.