Campaigns for increased funding for the arts and extension of the BIA scheme

In CMC’s first episode of the amplify podcast, composer Amanda Feery spoke to presenters Evonne Ferguson and Jonathan Grimes about her artistic practice and upcoming projects. When asked about issues facing composers working in Ireland, Amanda shared her perspective as an artist based in Dublin in 2019, highlighting the cost of living in the capital and the recurring question of “should I stay or go?” that she and many of her peers were struggling with.

These issues are continuing to critically affect artists working in Ireland in 2024, with The Arts Council and Irish Arts Organisations seeking further investment and support for the sector. This week, The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon launched a campaign for an increase in government funding to the arts to €160 million in 2025. The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon has pointed to a record demand for Arts Council supports, a record shortfall in the funding requests met, along with escalating costs for artists and arts organisations as key indicators that this increase in investment is essential. More information on this campaign is available at The Arts Council website

Basic Income for the Arts

The governments’ introduction of the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme in 2022 marked a significant step towards offering consistent and reliable investment in Irish artists’ practice and wellbeing. Running as a three-year pilot programme, the BIA is providing basic income of €325 per week to a group of 2,000 eligible artists and arts workers, across a variety of creative disciplines, all of whom were selected at random following an application process. Key findings from an impact assessment of the pilot’s first year showed that recipients of weekly payments reported better mental health and more time spent working on their artistic practice:

As of October 2023, research suggests that the BIA payment is having a consistent, statistically significant impact on almost all indicators; affecting practice development, sectoral retention, wellbeing, and deprivation.*

With the BIA pilot due to be completed in 2025, Irish arts organisations including First Music Contact, Contemporary Music Centre Ireland, Improvised Music Company and Music Network are calling for this scheme to be retained, extended and expanded. For more information on this campaign and to sign the petition visit:



*Source: Nadia Feldkircher, Brian O’Donnell, Basic Income for the Arts Research Team, May 2024, Basic Income for the Arts Impact Assessment (First year), Executive Summary, p 4-7. Available here. (Accessed: 1 July 2024).

Images: The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon