Irish Equity and MUI welcome grant awards through the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme

Irish Equity and the Musicians Union of Ireland (MUI) have welcomed the awarding of 2,000 grants for artists and creative arts workers through the new Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme, which were announced today (Thursday, 8th September).

Irish Equity and MUI Organiser, Michelle Quinn, said: “Our members welcome the announcement by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and the Media, Catherine Martin, that 2,000 successful candidates have been chosen for the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme. We sincerely hope that it makes a real difference to the quality of life of the successful recipients.

“However, we are also mindful that the 6,200 people who were eligible for inclusion in the random draw for these grants, who were unsuccessful, must be disappointed. We will monitor the development of the scheme and will flag any issues that arise with the Department.”

She added: “We are mindful that the pilot scheme is a significant change to the way Ireland recognises and supports artists. It is our hope that it will be successful and that ultimately it will be developed in a manner that ensures all artists will receive financial support.”

President of Irish Equity, Gerry O’Brien, said: “Ireland could lead the way on a new model to support all people active in the sector. We would be fully supportive of such an initiative and we would urge the Minister to give favourable consideration to it. We also need to ensure that artists living with a disability do not lose any existing benefits as a result of their inclusion in the scheme or any future initiatives.”