The corona pandemic has been fierce for people in all professions, including artists. To help this group, the city of Sacramento is considering giving a monthly pay check to local artists. The kind of coronavirus stimulus check for artists is actually part of the city’s guaranteed basic income program.
Coronavirus Stimulation Check for Artists
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has proposed a pilot program to support the city’s creative economy. This coronavirus stimulation check for artists, if approved, will be an unconditional payment.
“Basic income programs have yielded positive results for individuals and families, and we are eager to try this approach in Sacramento,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Many artists struggle to make ends meet financially, and a small supply of funds can allow them to focus on their work without fear.”
Authorities are proposing to set aside $ 10 million that the city received in federal COVID Assistive devices, for the administration of the program with guaranteed basic income. If approved, the program will offer monthly income to artists to compensate them for financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sacramento is currently researching local artists for help deciding the details of the program, including how the money will be distributed. After the program is approved, the eligible artists can get the money for the fall.
“The city’s Office of Arts and Culture is seeking input from local and creative artists on a potential Guaranteed Basic Income for Artists (GBI) program,” announced on its website.
Is it the right use of money?
Although city authorities believe in supporting local artists, many believe it is a waste of funds. Such people are of the opinion that guaranteed income programs do not usually use the funds intended for those who need financial help the most.
Moreover, another argument against guaranteed income is that it encourages many to opt out of work and stay at home. There are studies that show that universal and guaranteed income programs have actually reduced the annual working hours among the income recipients significantly.
Opponents also claim that most struggling artists have another job to support themselves until they are established. With the job market in good shape due to federal stimulus programs, there are plenty of jobs available for artists to support their lives.
Sacramento is not the only city considering a plan to support artists. Last year, New York City also outlined one level to spend nearly $ 6 billion of COVID-19 recovery funds to support artists, taxi drivers and the homeless. According to the plan, about 1,800 local artists who suffered financially during the pandemic received $ 5,000 in stimulus checks.
NYC also came up with a separate program, called City Canvas, which was an initiative of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and ArtBridge (nonprofit). During the program, about 60 artists were selected to showcase their art on construction fences and sidewalk sheds in the city.