Estonia to pay artist’s salary, writer’s salary to more people, increase rates

  • 2019-01-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian Ministry of Culture is set to increase the budget of the artist's salary and writer's salary, a novel financing concept of creative people introduced in 2015, to raise to 30 the number of artists and writers to whom the salary is paid  and increase the size of the monthly payout.  

Where in 2019, payouts together with creative associations will be made altogether to 24 people, starting from 2021 the salary will be paid to 15 artists and an equal number of writers every year. The size of the gross salary next year will be 1,430 euros a month, 1.1 times the minimum salary of a cultural worker, spokespeople for the Ministry of Culture told BNS. 

The introduction of the artist's salary and writer's salary in 2015 was an important decision in culture policy which secured an income equal to the the national average wage along with all social guarantees to recipients of the salary in two fields where there are no national institutions, the spokespeople said.

The recipients of the salary are chosen by creative associations together with sectoral organizations, while the money for the payment of the salary comes from the Ministry of Culture. 

"Artist's salary and writer's salary definitely represent a world view change in culture policy. They cement the understanding that  creative work is work. By giving writers and artists at the top of their form a feeling of confidence and the possibility to dedicate themselves to creative work over a longer period of time, we make Estonian culture richer. Therefore we have decided to increase the number of recipients of the salary to 30 and provide them with an income exceeding the national average for three years," Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said.

Where earlier the size of the artist's salary and writer's salary equaled the national average wage, from now on it equals 1.1 times the minimum wage of cultural workers with higher education. Thus, starting from 2019, the monthly payout before tax will be 1,430 euros, higher than the 1,300 euros agreed on the level of the state.

The recipients of the writer's salary starting from 2019, in accordance with a decision of a committee of the Estonian Writers' Union, are Adam Cullen, Contra, Kalju Kruusa, Leelo Tungal and Kauksi Ulle. The five artists chosen by a committee of the Estonian Artists' Union are Jass Kaselaan, Juri Kask, Marko Maetamm, Kart Ojavee and Laura Pold.