Setting in motion: what Ireland’s basic income pilot could mean

The success of the national campaign that established Ireland’s Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme offers a range of insights.
Graffiti art in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: George Bakos via Unsplash.

It was 2019, Angela Dorgan has just stepped into the role of Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) in Ireland when it became immediately clear that a sector-wide survey was needed. When COVID-19 hit the following year, Dorgan went to the sector to find out what sort of support arts workers and organisations required, from their perspective. The NCFA then set out to make an argument to government to increase funding in the sector – seeking something radical that could fundamentally change how artists earn their living. And it succeeded.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram @lleizy_