The annual artist salary was made public yesterday. Each fall artists in Iceland sit down and go over the year a head of them, make a plan for the year ahead and gather data corresponding to their projects in order to apply for a salary from the ministry of education and culture. Each January they along with the whole country awaits the conclusion of the board of the artist salary and the allocation of the salaries are made public. The monthly salary is around 3000 Euros, artists are paid as contractors and are responsible paying monthly taxes and dues, which amounts to proximately 300-400 euros monthly. They can receive anything from 3 – 24 months, most receive 3 months. The board works with appointed comities in charge of allocating 1600 monthly salaries from the ministry of education and culture designated to the arts. They revived a total of 1606 applications and selected 391 artists to fund in disciplines of the fine arts, dance, music and writing.
The public responds simultaneously and each year the internet is on fire with debate about whether or not it’s justifiable to support the arts in such a way. Marked and media research MMR made a survey in January last year to find out if Icelanders support the artist salary and found out that a tight majority is for the support of the arts. 53.2% of Icelanders are for the artist salary and 46.8% are against it. The online debate amongst people is fierce and lively today with apposing view debating pros and cons of state support of the arts.