Basic Income for the Arts in Ireland - What have We Learned after 14 months?

Start: 2023-12-06 18:30:00 UTC Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London (GMT+00:00)

End: 2023-12-06 20:00:00 UTC Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London (GMT+00:00)

This is a virtual event

UBI Lab Arts, UBI Lab Leeds and UBI Lab Network, in association with Basic Income Ireland present:

Please join us for the third in our special series of discussions dedicated to reflecting on what we can learn from the Irish Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme, as it unfolds.

The Government of Ireland is running a Basic Income pilot that began in September 2022. 2000 artists and cultural workers will receive a weekly unconditional income of €325 weekly for a period of three years. This third session will be an opportunity to check-in with some of the artists involved in the pilot scheme and learn from them about how it is affecting them and their creative communities. You can watch the recordings from our previous sessions here:

First Session Dec 2022 |  Second Session June 2023

We will again be joined by artists Shane Finan, Alisha Doody and Tadhg Ó Cuirrín, who will give us personal insights from the perspective of recipients and members of the ‘control group’ who applied but do not receive the basic income. We will also be joined by Basic Income Ireland who will give an update about their work and the political context of Ireland.

Following a brief refresher about Universal Basic Income, other pilot schemes, and the work of UBI Lab Arts, the wider UBI Lab Network,and Basic Income Ireland we will open up a discussion with the artists based around the following prompts:

  • How do you feel after the first 14-months of the pilot? What is your experience as part of the intervention or control group of the pilot?
  • How has the Basic Income or being a member of the control group affected your practice?
  • How do you think that the trial been received by the wider creative communities and general public in Ireland? Have you received any comments or questions from people at home or abroad? Have there been any conversations with artists who have lived experience of BI pilots elsewhere?
  • What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot? What support and challenges have been encountered so far? What are your thoughts about communication and information with the organisers of the scheme, e.g. the release of the first report?
  • Now the pilot scheme is properly underway have you begun to consider what will be the legacy of the scheme and your situation after the pilot ends?
  • How do you think that your experience and that of others in the pilot might be helpful in promoting the idea of basic income? Have you any thoughts on how to leverage the trial (either for its continuation or for a wider scheme) while it is happening?

There will also be opportunity for questions from the audience. The session will take place on Zoom. Places are free but booking is required. Please register to the Action Network event here:

—— Further information ——

Shane Finan

Shane Finan is a visual artist and project manager working with interactive digital media in collaborative research projects with human and nonhuman colleagues. He was the 2022 recipient of the Decade of Centenaries Residency Award from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media partnered with the Jackie Clarke Collection and Mayo Arts Office (Ireland), where he created the interactive artwork Assembly. Shane has completed residencies with FIELD University of Lincoln (UK), Visual Arts in Rural Communities (UK), Graz University of Performing Arts and Music (Austria) and Artlink Fort Dunree (Ireland). In 2022, he co-founded the artist collective and art space ^ in Manorhamilton, and is the project lead on Púca in the Machine in Wicklow. He has won funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Ireland, Culture Europe, Wicklow Arts Office and Leitrim Arts Office.

Alisha Doody

Alisha Doody is a visual artist and educator with a socially engaged practice who has produced both solo and collaborative work with the LGBTQ community. In 2018 she co-founded The Stairlings Collective which is an intergenerational LGBTQI+ history research group whose work focuses on the often hidden histories of the LGBTQ community. Through the Stairlings Collective Alisha has co produced a number of projects including The EverWoman Project (2020) in the National Museum of Ireland, and ConverSayTrans Podcast (2021). In 2019 when completing her MA in Socially Engaged Art and Further Education in the National College of Art and Design, Alisha also co-founded Critical Friends which is a peer support group for artists with socially engaged/participatory/collaborative practices, the group are currently on residency with Create, Ireland's National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts in Social and Community Contexts. Alisha's w...ork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and she has recently been awarded the Arts Participation Bursary 2022, Firestation Digital Media Award 2022 and the Next Generation Artist Award 2021.


Tadhg Ó Cuirrín is an artist based in Galway in the west of Ireland. He studied painting at the Limerick School of Art and Design, and has worked for a number of artist run spaces. He works in a variety of media, and his work was recently shortlisted for the Hennessey Craig Award at the Royal Hibernian Academy 192nd Annual Exhibition, and recently included in TULCA Festival of Visual Art in Galway. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include “It is happening again” in March 2023 at the Custom House Studios in Westport, and "Magic, Metallic Saliva” with Karen Conway at 126 Artist Run Gallery in March 2022. His work is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, EalaínnaGaeltachta, and Galway County Council.


Basic Income for the Arts Pilot Scheme

The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme, which is running for a three year period (2022 – 2025), pays a basic income of €325 per week to 2000 randomly selected 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 of providing the security of a basic income on the lives and creative practice of artists and creative arts workers.

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 sees UBI as an essential social foundation and advocates together with different interest groups (Arts, Climate, Environment, Human Rights, Trade Unions...) for its rapid introduction in the UK and elsewhere. For example, we participate in the Leeds Doughnut Economics festival.   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.

Basic Income Ireland

Basic Income Ireland is a campaign group and network of people working towards one simple mission: to make universal basic income a reality in Ireland. We are the Irish national affiliate of the Basic Income Earth Network. Members of Basic Income Ireland are all volunteers and come from a variety of backgrounds. Most members have full or part-time time jobs; others are retirees, self-employed, running small businesses or working without pay. We hold regular network meetings, and have hosted talks, workshops, debates, and film screenings. We also actively engage with policymakers, trade unions, think tanks, and various other groups across civil society.

Event by
UBI Lab Network
Churchover, United Kingdom
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