The pilot aims to support artists living and working in the City of San Francisco during the pandemic. The Office of Racial Equality at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the Arts Impact Endowment (co-funded by San Francisco Arts Commission), and Grants for the Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) have joined forces to create and fund the program.
The program will pay local artists $1,000 (£725.00GBP) per month to support the city’s creative community. The pilot program will launch in May of this year and run for six months. The program will fund artists working in music, dance, creative writing, visual art, performing arts, installation art, photography, theatre, and film.
The $1,000 a month universal basic income will be available to a total of 130 artists. To be eligible for the fund, you must be 18+ and live in the San Francisco zip code. The program will prioritise artists from marginalised communities.
Deborah Cullinan, Chief Executive Officer at YBCA, spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle:
“There are people living in challenging circumstances right now”, and the city wants to “move as quickly as we can to get them the resources they need.”
The YBCA states on its website:
“Though the Pilot is focused on all artists facing financial insecurity resulting from the pandemic, we are building a comprehensive and community-centered outreach strategy that ensures we reach those hardest hit, including our BIPOC, Immigrant, Disabled, and LGBTQ+ artist communities. This outreach strategy reflects San Francisco’s Cultural Equity Endowment Legislation and the Grantmakers in the Arts’ Racial Equity in Arts Funding Statement of Purpose.
Learnings from the Pilot will help us understand how guaranteed income impacts artists’ ability to focus on creative output and reinvest in their communities. YBCA is proud to serve as the implementer for the first-ever Guaranteed Income Pilot for artists and understands that this is only one step towards building a sustainable economic floor for the artists in our communities.”
This is a positive step forwards, providing economic support for marginalised communities and minority backgrounds to stimulate the art community for years to come.
Applications for the program are now open, and the deadline for submission is 15th April. Apply here.