Artist Stipends to Increase

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir / Minister of Culture and Business Affairs

Minister of Culture and Business Affairs Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir has proposed a substantial increase in public funding for artist stipends, Heimildin reports.

According to a draft bill, three new salary funds will be created and the month of salary to be allocated will gradually increase from 1,600 to 2,850 until 2028. Funding will increase in steps from ISK 124 million [$906,000, €832,000] next year to ISK 700 million [$5.1 million, €4.7 million] in 2028.

Funds for film writers and age groups

The Artists’ Salary Fund is a collection of funds meant to support the arts. Funding is determined annually by Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament, and The Icelandic Centre for Research is responsible for managing the fund on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Business Affairs. For 2024, 1,032 months of salary were allocated, while 9,336 months were applied for

The draft bill notes that the number of available months of salary for allocation has remained unchanged since the law came into effect in 2009. The three new salary funds that will be created, if the bill becomes law, will be a Film Writers Fund, Vöxtur – a fund for artists 35 years old and younger, and Vegsemd – a fund for artists 67 and older.

Artist Stipends Awarded for 2024

The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) has announced that artist stipends for 2024 have been allocated.

9,336 Months of Salary Applied For

There were some 1,600 months of salary to be allocated for 2024, representing 6 different funds for designers, visual artists, writers, performing artists, musical performers and composers.

Applications to the fund totaled 1,032, including 924 individuals and 108 performing arts groups. In total, 9,336 months of artist stipends were applied for.

Salaries from the 2023 fund were ISK 507,500 [$3,600, €3,400]. The amount of the monthly payments in 2024 will be announced after the coming year’s budget is approved by Alþingi.

Below is a selection of some of this year’s recipients.

Designers

  • Anita Hirlekar
  • Anna María Bogadottir
  • Eygló Margrét Lárusdóttir
  • Sólveig Dóra Hansdóttir

Visual artists

  • Arna Óttarsdóttir
  • Gustav Geir Bollason
  • Haraldur Jonsson
  • Hildigunn Birgisdóttir
  • Katrín Sigurðardóttir
  • Melanie Ubaldo
  • Peter Thomsen
  • Sigríður Björg Sigurðardóttir
  • Sigurður Guðjónsson
  • Steinunn Marta Önnudóttir

Writers

  • Bragi Ólafsson
  • Eiríkur Örn Norddahl
  • Done by Kristný Guðjónsdóttir
  • Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir
  • Gunnar Helgason
  • Hallgrímur Helgason
  • Hildur Knútsdóttir
  • Jón Kalman Stefánsson
  • Kristin Eiríksdóttir
  • Kristin Ómarsdóttir
  • Steinar Bragi Guðmundsson
  • Þórdís Gísladóttir

Performing artists

  • Bjarni Jonsson
  • Gígja Jónsdóttir
  • Tyrfingur Tyrfingsson

Musicians

  • Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir
  • Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir
  • Eva Þyri Hilmarsdóttir
  • Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir

Composers

  • María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir
  • Skúli Sverrisson
  • Veronique Jacques

See the full list of recipients here.

The Artists’ Salary Fund

The Artists’ Salary Fund is a collection of funds meant to support the arts. Funding is determined annually by Alþingi and The Icelandic Centre for Research is responsible for managing the fund on behalf of The Ministry of Culture and Business Affairs.

See last year’s artist stipends here.

Annual Artist Salaries Allocated for 2023

The Ministry of Education and Culture’s annual Artist Salary allocations were announced on Friday. RÚV reports that 236 artists across six disciplines were awarded salaries for periods of two to twelve months. This represents but a fraction of the 1,083 applications—from 972 individuals and 111 performing arts groups—that were received.

See Also: Icelandic Government Raises Artist Salaries

Salaries are awarded for periods of two to twelve months. At the beginning of the year, Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Culture Lilja Alfreðsdóttir announced that funding of artists salaries would increase with individual monthly stipends being raised to ISK 428,000 [$3,330, €2,908] per month during 2022. In the coming year, the monthly stipend will increase to ISK 507,500 [$3,551; €3,354].

Both well-known and emerging artists are among those awarded salaries this year. Those who received a full year’s salary include (but are not limited to) designer Hanna Dís Whitehead, visual artists Anna Rún Tryggvadóttir and Sæmundur Þór Helgason, actor Arnar Jónsson, saxophonist Óskar Guðjónsson, and composer Viktor Orri Árnason.

Writers’ salaries

Allocations for writers’ salaries are always a hot topic of debate and conversation, not least because this discipline has the most allocations. This year, a total of 555 months’ salaries were allocated to writers. (The next largest number of allocations, or 435 months total, was made to visual artists; a total of 50 months were allocated to designers, 190 months were allocated to both theatrical performers and composers, and 180 to musicians.)

A full year’s salary was allocated to twelve authors, many of whom are available to English-language readers: Auður Jónsdóttir (author of Quake, trans. Meg Matich); Gerður Kristný (author of Bloodhoof and Drápa, both translated by Rory McTurk); Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir (The Creator; trans. Sarah Bowen); Hallgrímur Helgason (Woman at 1000 Degrees; trans. Brian FitzGibbon; A Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning); Jón Kalman Stefánsson (Heaven and Hell; Summer Light and Then Comes Night, both translated by Philip Roughton); Kristín Ómarsdóttir (Swanfolk, trans. Vala Thorodds; Children in Reindeer Woods trans. Lytton Smith); and Steinar Bragi (The Ice Lands, Trans. Lorenza García; The Haunting of Reykjavík).

Other authors familiar to English-language readers also received funding for the coming year. Andri Snær Magnason (On Time and Water, trans. Lytton Smith), Bragi Ólafsson (The Ambassador, trans. Lytton Smith), Einar Már Guðmundsson (Angels of the Universe, trans. Bernard Scudder), Kristín Eiríksdóttir (A Fist or a Heart, trans. Larissa Kyzer); and Oddný Eir (Land of Love and Ruins, trans. Philip Roughton) were all among those receiving nine-month salaries.

Four Added to List for Honorary Artists’ Stipend

Alþingi Icelandic parliament

Four artists are to be added to the list of honorary artists who received a state stipend to support their work. The decision comes from the Cultural Committee of Parliament, and the four new artists are replacing four who have passed on either this year or last.

The new recipients of the artist stipend will be: Hildur Hákonardóttir, Kristín Þorkelsdóttir, Manfreð Vilhjálmsson, and Þórhildur Þorleifsdóttir.

The list of honorary artists is notable this year for including graphic designers and architects. Historically, the list has generally been reserved for the traditional fine arts, including visual art, music, and theatre.

Kristín Þorkelsdóttir is noteworthy as the graphic designer behind some Icelandic banknotes and the Icelandic passport.

The new honorary artists will be joining the ranks of notable Icelandic creatives such as Erró, Bubbi Morthens, and Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir, among others. In total, the list includes some 25 notable Icelandic artists who have contributed in a significant way to Icelandic culture.

The new additions to the honorary artists’ stipend are in line with a a budget proposal which was passed yesterday.