I have written before about Ireland’s plan to provide a guaranteed basic income for artists. A couple weeks ago, NBC News posted a story about the program on their website. In all, 2000 artists, including architects and circus professionals, were chosen from 8000 applicants to receive €325 ($326) a week unconditionally for three years.
There is a breakdown of artists’ disciplines and where they live in a press release the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and the Media put out in September 2022.
What caught my attention in the NBC article was the type of data the Ministry was collecting on artists who were selected and not selected for the program.
Participants have to complete a survey every six months, which asks them about their artistic output and working hours, as well as their sleeping habits and the state of their mental health. The survey also asks about their societal participation, which can include activities like volunteering and caring for relatives. A control group of artists who did not receive funding will also be surveyed and tracked to compare results of those of received funding against those who didn’t.
I would be interested to learn more about what they find from this trail program. Hopefully it will come back on my radar again in 2025-2026 when the pilot is over.