Artists' and writers' wage
Estonian Ministry of Culture
Find out more about this innovative practice
The Estonian Ministry of Culture introduced a financing mechanism that guarantees a monthly income and social security to selected artists over a period of three years, allowing them to dedicate themselves fully to longer-term artistic projects and thereby contribute to the development of Estonian culture The introduction of the artist's salary and writer's salary in 2016 was an important decision in cultural policy which secured an income equal to the the national average wage along with all social guarantees to recipients of the salary. The recipients of the salary are chosen by creative associations together with sectoral organizations, while the money for the payment of the salary comes from the Ministry of Culture. Where in 2019, payouts together with creative associations will be made altogether to 24 people, starting from 2021 the salary will be paid to 15 artists and an equal number of writers every year. The size of the gross salary next year will be 1,430 euros a month, 1.1 times the minimum salary of a cultural worker.
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
Starting from 2016, the pilot project of artists' and writers' wage was launched which enables freelancer writers and artists at their creative peak to dedicate themselves to creative work for a longer period of time. The funds for paying the wages are allocated by the Ministry of Culture as a grant to the corresponding artistic association. The amount of one wage is equal to the average monthly gross income inclusive of all taxes of the year before the previous year. The artistic association will pay the wages for three years to persons chosen based on a public competition. The difference of the wage compared to a grant for creative work, apart from its long-term nature, are the accompanying social securities and greater stability arising from them. The fields of art and literature were chosen because in these fields large amount of creative persons are engaged in liberal professions. The creative processes of the named fields are not as widely supported by the state through institutional supports.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
Since 2016, 5 artists and 5 writers are selected who will receive wages for three years. As of 2020, in total 13 artists and 13 writers have received wages.
Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 
2016: 190 794 USD (161 362 EUR) 2017: 323 498 USD (273 594 EUR) 2018: 478 640 USD (404 804 EUR) 2019: 584 664 USD (494 472 EUR)
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Estonian Artists' Association
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Estonian Writers' Union
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
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