The dream of every musician is to make enough money from music to not have to work a day job. It’s a nice dream but unfortunately not possible for the vast majority of musicians, especially those just starting out. Unless you live in Ireland, which will now pay at least some artists and musicians a basic income.
The Basic Income for Artists plan originated by the Ministry of Culture and Artist has a budget of about $23 million to spend on creatives of all types, including artists, musicians, dancers, actors, writers, and even circus performers. That said, not all creatives that applied were accepted. There were about 9,000 submissions but only enough funding for 2,000.
How were they chosen? Apparently at random, and the acceptance committee was totally anonymous, so they couldn’t be lobbied.
Of the 2,000 recipients, 700 were visual artists, 584 were musicians, 204 were film creatives, and 184 were writers. Around 170 actors and others working on theater projects were also selected, which includes 32 dancers and choreographers, 13 circus artists, and 10 architects, while 50 of the recipients work in the Irish language.
Each artist that was accepted into the program will receive a stipend of about $330 per week for 3 years. That’s not a lot, but remember that it’s only supposed to cover basic needs, and most starving creatives will be grateful for any kind of help, regardless of its size.
The fund is part of the Basic Income Ireland which is trying to reduce poverty and homelessness in Ireland.
Canada has had a similar program to support the arts for years called the Canada Music Fund. Considering how wealthy the United States is compared to both of those countries, isn’t it time it came up with a similar plan?