St. Paul artists to receive first $500 guaranteed income payments in April

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter explains a new pilot program that will guarantee select St. Paul residents $500 a month in income in September 2020. 

The first $500 payments in St. Paul’s guaranteed monthly income program are being distributed this month, according to a local arts nonprofit.

Springboard for the Arts said its member artists will receive the first $500 payments in the pilot program in April. The payments will support 25 artists in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods for 18 months.

In a release, Mayor Melvin Carter called Springboard for the Arts a "vital partner" and said guaranteed income will "benefit our entire community."

The $500 payments are deposited directly to individuals and have no strings attached or work requirements. The recipients will be chosen at random, but Springboard for the Arts says 75 percent of the individuals will be "Black, Native and/or people of color."

Carter announced the creation of the People’s Prosperity Project last fall. The first pilot gave the $500 payments to 150 families in the city.

The city of St. Paul used its CARES Act funding, philanthropy and the Mayors for Guaranteed Income national network to come up with the $1.5 million needed to fulfill the pilot.