The most recent guidelines dealing with the status of artists and proposing measures for its development can be found report drawn up by a working group appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The report was published in October 2018.
The key messages the working group presented in their report are:
* Art must be brought to the heart of society so that its status meets with the larger societal meaning of art. The cultural, social, environmental and economic impacts of art should be identified. Art should be seen as part of the expanding service sector and business activities. Central government funding for the arts should be increased, and culture should not be the only administrative branch funding it.
* Arts funding must be developed strategically in accordance with ecosystem thinking. Funding and the support systems should secure the long-term development of artistic work and the different fields of art. At the same time, structures should be flexible and also enable artistic work across the boundaries of different fields of art. The peer review model for the arts should be reformed. The regional structures in place for promoting the arts should be strengthened.
* Art is work and it must be treated as such. Yet, society does not know how to sufficiently benefit from investing in artists. Artistic work should be treated as equal to work in other sectors and the opportunities for artists to earn their income from artistic work should be improved. The artist grant system should be updated. It should also be investigated whether it would be appropriate to develop artist grants into a form of funding that would enable artists to work in employment relationships and strengthen their social security.
Improving the status of the artist has in some parts proved challenging. Some of these challenges have been structural, while others have been related to the value given to different fields or gaps in "finding a common language" between different Government branches. An operating model which delegates responsibility to different administrative branches and actors would be needed to ensure future progress in improving the status of the artist and preconditions for artistic work in Finland.
The social security system of Finland is likely to undergo a fundamental reform over the next decade. PM Sanna Marin's Government will launch the reform by setting up a parliamentary committee to prepare the reform by drafting a roadmap extending over the next parliamentary periods. This reform is likely to affect the efforts of improving the status of the artist as well.
PM Marin's Government Programme includes an increase in the number of supplementary State pensions available to artists. The so-called artists' pensions are discretionary and granted based on merit via the Arts Promotion Centre, which consults the national arts councils in the process. Income caps for granting a pension are in place. An equivalent of 51 full pensions (EUR 1,363.50 / month) is granted annually. The Government has also raised the level of grants for artists up to appx. EUR 2,000 per month.