Will Irish Artists Sleep Better With A Guaranteed Basic Income

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.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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