Culture ministry pilots artist, writer salary ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
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The Estonian Ministry of Culture is to launch project that would see five artists and five writers receive state salary for three years.

"The state's interest is straightforward: a poet or painter needs an opportunity to concentrate on his or her creative work,” culture ministry's head of communication unit, Meelis Kompus, said. “Such creative professionals lack opportunities to be permanently employed by institutions, like a writer's union, where authors gather in the morning to write books and receive monthly salaries. They also need social guarantees. Without enough support and people working on several fronts to make ends meet, precious creations may never see the light of day or be delayed,” Kompus explained.

The ministry will launch the project today with a press conference at noon, where officials will explain the concept of and criteria for the salary, as well as issue a call for applications. First 10 carefully selected people will get paid from 2016 onward.

The ministry has allocated 160,000 euros for this purpose from next year's budget.

Culture minister, Indrek Saar, said that the proposed salary offers recipients financial security for longer periods than do the more commonly distributed grants. It also comes with social guarantees.

"Our aim is to find people who are on the peak of their creative powers, who would use this opportunity to make a qualitative leap," said Taaniel Raudsepp, director of Tallinn Art Hall. He hoped the competition for the salaries is fierce and applicants ambitious.

Editor: M. Oll