Implements controversial grant scheme for artists

Vestfold MunchMunch painting. Pikene på broen. (The Girls on the bridge). Photo: Nasjonalmuseet

The Government implements controversial grant scheme for artists

The Government carries out a controversial change in the grant scheme for artists. It became clear after Wednesday’s meeting in the Parliament’s Family and Culture Committee


This is the first complete artist report for over 20 years, but it is not welcomed by the artists themselves. The change in the grant scheme was proposed by Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland when the state budget was presented this autumn.

According to NRK, the proposal has created furore in artist circles.

One of the changes Hellesland suggested is that the artists ‘associations should only propose who will sit in the 24 different committees who annually donate NOK 300 million to artist stipends. A state-appointed committee of five persons is to make the final decisions.

The artists believe the right of appointment to the stipend committees should be with the artists themselves.

– The goal is to ensure the influence of the artists in a good way and that the money we spend will benefit artists throughout the country. We will figure out how we can best stimulate the free vocations through good and long-term scholarships, says Terje Breivik, a political spokesman in the Liberals.

The chairman of Norske Billedkunstnere, Hilde Tørdal, is disappointed.

– But we are going to fight further, and most artists organizations are going to do that. We are 20 organizations that have fought this change autumn, she tells NRK.

In October, hundreds of artists participated in a demonstration against the government’s proposal for the state budget for 2018, wearing the “Scream” masks.


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today