Life just got easier for “essential” artists – apparently not an oxymoron – living in San Fransisco, California.
Fox News reports that San Francisco is starting a guaranteed income program that will give $1,000 a month to local, “essential” artists.
Really, it’s happening.
Those who would like to be considered for this program have to submit an application by April 15th.
In that application, the individual has to prove that they are a San Francisco resident and someone who “actively engages with the community through music, dance, creative writing, visual art, performance art, installation, photography, theater, or film.”
Also, the applicant must prove that he or she makes $60,000 or less per year, or $69,000 or less per year for a two-person household. If you can show all of this, then you have a chance at a $1,000 a month.
“Historically marginalized communities,” in particular, are being encouraged to apply.
In a statement announcing the program, San Fransisco Mayor London Breed said, “from the first day the pandemic arrived in San Francisco, we knew that this health crisis would impact artists, and artists of color in particular.”
Selecting who will qualify for the program will be the Office of Racial Equity, which is part of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
Breed also tried to make the case for the program. She said:
[Local artists] make San Francisco special, and bring so much life and energy to our city. The arts are critical to our local economy and are an essential part of our long-term recovery. If we help the arts recover, the arts will help San Francisco recover.
Critics, however, have pointed out that, among other things, this is probably not the best way for a struggling city like San Francisco to use its money.
A recent trend
This is one of a number of basic income programs that have recently been launched in California. Many of these programs are aimed at eliminating “racial disparities.” Another such program, for example, that was recently started in Oakland, California, looks to provide guaranteed income to low-income minority residents.
What remains to be seen is whether such programs actually will lead to any good or whether they will lead to further problems, including further racial problems.