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Artists With Benefits

A collage of creative workers

  • Artists with benefits: could a future welfare system level the playing field for cultural workers?

  • Could the benefits system be harnessed to provide a more sustainable and more equitable creative economy?

Artists with Benefits: the podcast

The Covid pandemic has exposed deep-rooted problems in our creative industries – in particular the precarity of work in the sector, especially for those working as freelancers or small business owners. This insecurity of work is linked to a second problem: the difficulty in embarking on a creative career for those who lack the material resources or social connections to survive on the fringes of the creative economy while waiting for the right doors to open.


Universal Basic Income is being floated as a possible solution to both of these challenges, with Ireland the latest country to announce a scheme directed specifically at artists. Meanwhile an older generation of successful creative workers began their careers with the help of a more generous and flexible benefits system, job creation schemes and free higher education Рcould we offer something similar for today’s gig economy generation?


The Artists With Benefits podcast discusses these issues with Martin Bright (founder and CEO of Creative Society), Bard Kleppe (Senior Researcher, Telemark Research Institute) and Simon Sharkey (founder and Associate Director of National Theatre of Scotland; founder and leader of The Necessary Space: a Theatre of Opportunity).



Episode 1 focuses on some of the current challenges facing freelance workers and young people seeking a career in the creative industries.
Episode 2 focuses on potential solutions, drawing on experiences in England, Scotland and Norway.
Episode 3 discusses the impact of UBI on creative work and policy