Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Greens pilot an Artists’ Wage

The Greens propose to trial an Artists’ Wage program, in which existing and emerging artists receive $772.60 per week to relieve financial pressures and allow them to pursue their crafts. It is based on a similar program, Basic Income for the Arts, which the Irish government launched last month. Greens candidate for Cunningham Dylan Green is excited about this announcement.

“The arts employ almost 200,000 people around the country, and the sector has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic,” said Mr Green.

“The Greens will pilot an Artists’ Wage program, where 10,000 existing and emerging artists are given a weekly wage for a year so they can pursue their crafts.

“This will allow them to focus on being creative, building up our culture, and enriching all our lives.

“We all know the importance of the arts in keeping us connected to each other and the world. I really hope that this program breathes new life into the arts, and provides greater access to the arts for everyone.

“I can’t wait to see what comes of this.”

Darcey Gervaise works in the local music industry as a performer, songwriter and recording engineer. He runs a small recording studio in North Wollongong, SLM Productions, where he works with local bands to produce and record their music in addition to making his own music.

“Since I’ve been working full time in the music industry my income has been pretty inconsistent,” said Mr Gervaise.

“Sometimes I’ll have a bunch of work crammed into a couple of weeks and then it’ll get quiet for a while. These quiet periods can be tough as I’ll usually be pretty short on money if they last for any long stretch of time.

“It goes without saying that a guaranteed wage would take away a lot of the stress involved with making a living in the music industry. I’d be able to invest back into improving my studio without concern that I’m digging into the funds I’ll need for every day expenses in the future.”