The Key Ideas

#95 Explore the possibility of devising a form of Citizen's Income for artists

Before we can have art, we need artists. One of the most effective ways we could create an upsurge of Scottish art would be if we could introduce a Citizens' Income scheme. That would allow artists (many of whom have to survive on very low incomes from their work, particularly in the early years of their career) to live tolerable lives while they develop. Until that is possible, we should not only dedicate more funding towards the arts in general, we should shift the balance away from supporting works of art and towards supporting artists. Project funding is essential for large scale productions such as opera or stage plays, or for large exhibitions, and Scotland should be ambitious in always trying to expand the number of these we invest in every year. But for many artists, what they really need is time and support to be able to produce art. Project grant funding may not be the way to do this, and is definitely not suitable for the variety of creative mediums artists work in. If we want more artists, we need to make it possible for more people to survive being an artist. A scheme where artists could apply for a modest but secure monthly income which enabled them to focus on their art could make an enormous difference.