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Research into Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme show positive results
2023-12-06 : News Desk
Minister Catherine Martin
Early research into the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme found that recipients of the scheme invested more time and resources in their arts practice. A decrease in depression and anxiety, and working fewer hours in other sectors was also reported.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, has today welcomed the publication of the first reports compiled from data collected as part of the Basic Income for the Arts (BIA) pilot scheme.

“Delivery of this pilot scheme has been a key priority for me,” said Minister Catherine Martin. “I am reassured from the findings, which demonstrate that artists and creative arts workers in receipt of the payment are experiencing less anxiety and depression, spending more time working in their chosen fields, and investing more in their arts career.  It shows that the scheme has had a positive impact during the first six months of payments and has the potential to transform creative practice."

“I look forward to seeing the Basic Income research as it emerges over the next two years. My ambition is that the scheme makes it possible for artists to have self-sustaining careers in the arts without the need to work in other sectors out of economic necessity."

The Minster continued: “Although these initial findings are positive, the reports that we are publishing alongside these also highlight the reality for artists and creative arts workers in Ireland at the moment.  They are further evidence of the challenges our artists face on a daily basis and the sacrifices they make to progress their artistic work. It reaffirms the need for a scheme like the Basic Income for the Arts and for the accompanying research that will help in our efforts to support the arts in Ireland to thrive and grow.”

The reports into the arts sector have been compiled from data collected from BIA pilot participants and are available here and here. Demographics of the Arts Sector and Arts Work Perspectives form part of a series of papers called A Portrait of the Arts Sector which are being drawn from data collected before payments to BIA recipients began. These papers illustrate conditions for artists before the introduction of the Basic Income.

The first Impact Assessment (6-month) of the Basic Income Pilot Scheme is also published today and is available here. It outlines changes to date that the BIA recipients have experienced within the first 6 months of receiving the payment. Similar reports will be published tracking the changes throughout the 3-year pilot research scheme.

The pilot has been designed as a randomised control trial (RCT), where one group receives the payment (treatment group, or BIA recipients) and another group does not (control group). Comparing the differences in the outcomes of both groups over time allows researchers to examine the effects of the policy.

All BIA participants, which include those in receipt of the payment and the control group, are required to engage in the ongoing data collection. Throughout the pilot research programme, participants will compile the same survey on their lives and creative practice every 6 months.

"The Basic Income initiative is a landmark commitment of the government to invest in the Arts industries of Ireland,” said Maria Fleming, Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts. “With most recent figures showing that the Arts industry has been one of the slowest to recover from the pandemic, the trial of the Basic Income provides a much needed stabilisation to the precarious working conditions of our highly skilled arts workforce. The NCFA applauds the scheme, and welcomes these reports as further evidence to support the need for its full scale rollout after the pilot phase."





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