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24 Sept 2022

Green minister welcomes money for Laois artists

Green minister welcomes money for Laois artists

Pippa Hackett at the Clonaslee Show

Laois Offaly based Minister of State Pippa Hackett has welcomed the announcement that 64 grants for artists and creative arts workers have been awarded in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath through the once-in-a-generation Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme.

Some 25 artists in Laois, 16 in Offaly and 23 in Westmeath have been awarded the Basic income for the Arts Pilot Scheme.

 “I am delighted that 64 Midlands based artists are to benefit from the scheme in the Midlands," said the Green Party senator.

"This is a huge opportunity for any artist to flourish creatively, safe in the knowledge that they are financially secure.  Many working in the arts sector live from gig to gig, commission to commission with no real security. Trialling a basic income in the sector will allow these artists to fully engage with their creative practices with the security of income certainty” the Minister said.

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture said her Green Party colleague, Minister Catherine Martin, has led the way to trial this within the arts.

Nationally, Minister Hackett said 2,000 artists and creative arts workers were awarded grants across the country as part of a three year pilot scheme. Recipients will receive €325 per week, paid on a monthly basis, as part of a research project on the impact of a basic income. Over 9,000 applications were made under the scheme and awardees were selected through a randomised anonymous selection process.

A basic income for the arts was the number one recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce Life Worth Living Report which was set up by Minister Catherine Martin in 2020 to examine how the sector could adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A stakeholder consultation forum was held on the issue in December 2021 at which over 150 participants from 50 representative and resource organisations in the arts and culture sector attended. 

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