Tuesday, April 13, 2021

San Francisco and other cities try to give steady income to artists

In San Francisco, public officials have announced a pilot program that will provide A monthly stipend for artists. The mayor’s office recently unveiled the initiative, which approved the city’s payments The Arts Commission, which will provide 130 eligible artists a guaranteed monthly income of $ 1,000 over six months.

A similar experiment began in St. Paul, Min., This week. There, a non-profit organization is working with the city to distribute monthly $ 500 checks to 25 local artists for the next 18 months. With funding from two foundations, Springfor the Arts, the initiative institution, hopes a successful program can transform the national conversation.

More programs, including but not limited to arts workers, are springing up in cities such as Oakland, California and Atlanta, whose leaders are part of the 41-member coalition, Mayor for a guaranteed income. The coalition says that providing such income will improve racial and gender equity. (There are no such plans in New York, a spokesman for the Department of Cultural Affairs said last week.)

Interest in guaranteed income – or universal basic income – has built up over the past year as a possible solution to the economic impacts that affected the epidemic.

The Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, said in a statement, “We knew that this health crisis would affect artists and especially artists of color.” “If we help recover art, art will help San Francisco recover.”

There are other programs in San Francisco – one that trains San Francisco residents as emergency medical technicians, and another that is part of the $ 60 million The initiative To invest in black children and families.

Since opening Application portal On March 25, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which conducts the Guaranteed Income Program on behalf of San Francisco for Artists, said it received more than 1,800 responses. (Last date for application is 15 April)

The organization’s chief executive, Deborah Cullinan, said that if people in the arts are unstable, “in my mind, I think that means we are not stable. An organization is only as stable as its core community.”

Cullinan said he hoped the program’s data could be used to inform the national agenda, and that he already had interest from the federal government.

“It’s about finding new and innovative ways to address the economic insecurity of our region,” Cullinan said.

In St. Paul, the McKnight and Bush Foundation have helped get a guaranteed-income program off the ground. Springboard director Laura Zabel, who oversees the project, said the monthly payment would help the artists get food and rent. Recipients of the stipend will be selected from a pool of previous recipients of the organization’s coronovirus emergency grant. The director said that at least 75 percent of the recipients would be people of color.

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