Springboard for the Arts’ ongoing Guaranteed Minimum Income for Artists pilot supports 75 artists, culture bearers, and creative workers in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods of Saint Paul and in Otter Tail County, MN with $500/month for 18 months in 2023-24.
Originally launched in 2021 as a “sidecar” to the City of St. Paul’s People's Prosperity Pilot, the goal of Springboard’s pilot is to explore the impact of guaranteed income on artists, culture bearers and creative workers at a neighborhood level and to provide a national model for the inclusion of artists in policies that address economic inequity.
Based on the success and early research findings of the first pilot, Springboard is expanding and deepening the Guaranteed Income for Artists pilot to include more artists in Rondo and Frogtown and to add Otter Tail County, which is the nation’s first pilot focused on artists in rural places. Springboard will also support rural and urban artists in Minnesota to create creative projects that tell the story of the need for and the impact of guaranteed income.
An overview of Phase 2's expansion of Springboard's Guaranteed Minimum Income pilot for artists and narrative change work in Saint Paul and Otter Tail County, Minnesota.
Artists Respond: People, Place, Prosperity
During Phase I of the artist-focused pilot, the City of Saint Paul and Springboard partnered on an ongoing narrative change project: Artists Respond: People, Place, and Prosperity. This growing cohort of artists have created public projects that demonstrate the root causes that lead to the need for guaranteed income, and the impact of guaranteed income on the families and communities that are supported by it.
Culminating projects have ranged from podcasts and coloring books (available in print and PDF), to audio postcards, a stained glass installation, and a collaborative performance/dance meditation made available on YouTube. These projects have been widely disseminated locally and nationally. Click on the slider below to view the current projects.
Artists Respond: People, Place, and Prosperity is a project of the City of Saint Paul and Springboard for the Arts, supported by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.
Prosperity Sounds EP is a trio of songs in response to the question what does prosperity sound like. It is a response to what it is like living in capitalistic society during a pandemic. It is a hope that guaranteed income as well as universal basic income can provide some solutions towards closing the wealth gap. It is cry for equity and something more than the bare minimum.
Altitude is a joyous celebrations in glass, metal, and sound, consisting of kiln-formed glass panels inspired by the dreams of laughing children and a tight-top walker’s parasol. In 2021, the glass sculpture was installed at the YMCA in Saint Paul, MN.
"Prosperity Dance" by Deja Joelle
"Everyone deserves to live and thrive." DejaJoelle's meditative work, "Prosperity Dance," is a collaborative performance that invites us to reflect on the essential nature of income, rest, togetherness and quality of life.
Bright Futures Audio Postcards are a visual and audio representation of Saint Paul’s People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot Program. The Bright Futures physical postcards have a QR code with a link to a produced audio story of one of the current participants in the People's Prosperity Pilot, describing why the program worked for their family.
Therapeutic. Mindfulness. Selfcare. Gratitude. Artist Briauna Williams created a multi-page coloring book, "Exhale" in response to the topic of Guaranteed Minimum Income.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
From Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, “A guaranteed income is a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. A guaranteed income is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and can be a tool for racial and gender equity.”
The last few years has shown how fragile our existing social supports are, and how our ecosystem for artists and creative workers needs more investment to be equitable and sustainable. Americans for the Arts’ report COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, shows that 62% of artists have become fully unemployed because of COVID-19 and 95% have experienced income loss from COVID-19. In addition to the specific challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, the pandemic has illuminated that there is little to no safety net for most individual artists, creating a pressing emergency of equity in economic opportunity especially for artists who are Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color. While many recovery efforts focus on nonprofit arts organizations or business relief; artists and creative workers are falling through the gaps.
The disruption across the whole economy, which has specifically and catastrophically affected the creative, entertainment, service, and retail industries, requires a response larger than any one donor, organization, or foundation. In the coming year, Springboard for the Arts seeks to address these vulnerabilities through a combination of direct services to meet artists’ needs and broad programming to address systemic issues. Inspired by the existing People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot in St. Paul, we are excited to pilot direct, unrestricted, noncompetitive financial support, in the form of Guaranteed Minimum Income, for culture workers.
No, the Guaranteed Income for Artists Pilot is being funded by private foundations and support, including the Kresge Foundation, the McKnight Foundation and the Bush Foundation.
We are not taking open applications for the Guaranteed Income for Artists Pilot. Recipients will be selected at random from an eligible pool of artists who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 and have received support from Springboard’s Coronavirus Personal Emergency Relief Fund and other services. We are focusing this pilot on 50 artists in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods of St. Paul, and 25 artists in Otter Tail County.
Mayors for Guaranteed Income: https://www.mayorsforagi.org/
Guaranteed Income Pilots Dashboard: https://guaranteedincome.us/
Stockton Demonstration Project findings: https://www.stocktondemonstration.org/
Peoples Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot in St. Paul: https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/financial-empowerment/peoples-prosperityguaranteed-Income-pilot
Guaranteed Income Pilot in Rural Georgia: https://dailyyonder.com/guaranteed-income-initiative-to-focus-on-rural-black-women-in-georgia/2022/05/23/
Other guaranteed income pilots working with artists:
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA/Bay Area:https://ybca.org/guaranteed-income-pilot/
Creatives Rebuild New York: https://www.creativesrebuildny.org/
Power of Cash Narrative Change Fellowship: https://www.economicsecurityil.org/fellowship