Event: Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland – What can we learn?

Posted on November 15, 2022

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You want to watch the recorded discussion here.

Please send any feedback and comments to r.huss@posteo.net

Our initial session will be an opportunity to learn about the background of the trial and hear directly from artists and artworkers involved in the pilot scheme. We will also offer some general context about Universal Basic Income, other pilot schemes, and the work of UBI Lab Arts and the wider UBI Lab Network in advocating for, and broadening and deepening the discussion about, Universal Basic Income.

We will be joined by artists and artworkers from Ireland, including Shane Finan, Rachel Botha and Tadhg Ó Cuirrín, who will give us personal insights into the way in which, in this early stage, the Basic Income trial is affecting them and their creative communities. We will hear both from recipients and members of the ‘control group’ who applied but will not receive the basic income and ask:

• How and why did you apply?

• What do you hope a Basic Income will help you achieve with your creative practice?

• How did you feel about the decision?

• How has the announcement of the participants in the project been received by the creative communities and general public of Ireland?

• What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot?

There will also be opportunity for questions and answers from the audience, and over the course of the series we hope to address wider questions including:

• How can a Basic Income (BI) support artists and their creative work which is often associated with a precarious financial and economic situation?

• How can artists help to make people aware and understand the concept and advantages of a universal basic income (UBI) for all residents in a society?

• How might the Basic Income for the Arts trial feed into a Universal Basic Income pilot in Ireland?

• How might the pilot help make the ‘creative case for UBI’ elsewhere and in particular how this Irish trial might help to promote the concept and advocate for Basic Income in the UK.

• What are the potential campaign synergies and opportunities for mutual support between UBI Lab Arts and Culture Declares Emergency?

The session will take place on Zoom. Places are free but booking is required. Please register to the Eventbrite link below:


Further information

Shane Finan
Shane Finan is a visual artist and project manager working with interactive digital media and community-based projects and a Proud member of Visual Artists Ireland, the representative body for artists in Ireland.

Rachel Botha
Rachel Botha is a curator, researcher and arts administrator. Her expanded curatorial practice responds to the local context and investigates how people perceive their social framework. She holds a BA in History of Art & Architecture from Trinity College Dublin, and a MA in Visual Culture & Critical Studies from Technological University Dublin. She was the Provost’s Curatorial Fellow at The Douglas Hyde of Contemporary Art, Trinity College Dublin, a co-director of Catalyst Arts, Belfast, and the Emerging Curator in Residence at the Kilkenny Arts Office. This year, she was appointed the Emerging Editor of Bloomers Magazine, and the Early Career Curator in Residence at the Regional Cultural Centre and Glebe House & Gallery in Donegal.

One more artist TBC

Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme
The BIA is a pilot research programme which will inform future government policy on how best to support Ireland’s artists and creative arts workers.The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will run over a three year period (2022 – 2025) and will be open to eligible artists and creative arts sector workers. The overarching objective of the scheme is to address the earnings instability that can be associated with the intermittent, periodic, and often project-based nature of work in the arts. The scheme will research the impact on artists and creative arts workers creative practice of providing the security of a basic income, thereby reducing income precarity.

UBI Lab Network, UBI Lab Leeds and UBI Lab Arts
UBI Lab is a worldwide decentralised network of citizens, researchers, activists and campaigners exploring the potential of Universal Basic Income. The UBI Lab Network is facilitated by the social enterprise Opus.

A UBI Lab is a citizen led group seeking to explore and advocate for a Universal Basic Income. Groups are themed geographically or by lived experience. There are currently 40 UBI Labs across the world with the majority located in the UK. UBI Lab Leeds started in July 2019. We see UBI as an essential social foundation and seek to advocate together with different interest groups (Arts, Climate, Environment, Human Rights, Trade Unions…) for its rapid introduction in the UK and elsewhere. Labs may meet each month to share learning, plan local actions and contribute to a shared set of resources. The Labs are assisted by the UBI Lab staff team who offer skills, resources and expertise where needed to facilitate the aims of each UBI Lab.

UBI Lab Arts was formed in September 2020 as a platform for bringing together artists and artworkers interested in Universal Basic Income. Since its inception founders Toby Lloyd and Andy Abbott have facilitated a series of ‘creative practice sharing sessions’ that aim to create an archive of projects, practices and methodologies that may help achieve the lab’s aim to ‘deepen and broaden the conversation around Universal Basic Income’ through creative practice.


Culture Declares Emergency
Culture Declares Emergency is a growing movement of individuals and organisations involved in arts and cultural who are declaring a climate and ecological emergency. The hub in Kirklees is a diverse network in West Yorkshire, spanning all dimensions of culture that collaborates to take action in response to the climate and ecological emergency.

* The session will be recorded with participants’ permission.

Documentation of previous sessions can be found on UBI Lab Arts – YouTube Channel