Artistic associations and support for creative activity for freelance creative persons.
The conditions for applying for the support have been temporarily alleviated due to COVID pandemic. There is no requirement for a 2 year gap between support periods and it is allowed to earn up to 100% of the amount of the minimum salary a month before applying to the support and during the support period.

The support of freelance creative persons and artistic associations is regulated by the Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act (hereinafter CPAAA). The purpose of the act is to support cultural creativity and the preservation and development of fine arts at a professional level and to improve the conditions necessary for the creative activity of creative persons and to create guarantees therefor.

Freelance creative person

A freelance creative person, pursuant to the Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act, is an author or performer who mainly earns his or her living from professional creative activity, e.g. architecture, audiovisual arts, design, performing arts, sound arts, literature, visual arts, or scenography  and who is not employed under an employment contract or any other similar contract under the law of obligations.

Support for creative activity

A freelance creative person who has no income from creative activity has the right to receive support for creative activity of a freelance creative person through an artistic association. A freelance creative person who is a member of a recognised artistic association and is in conformity with the terms and conditions set for by law (subsection 16 (2) of CPAAA) has the right to receive support for creative activity for six months with the right to extend the period of support by another six months. The amount of support for creative activity is the minimum rate of pay established by the Government of the Republic, and the person receiving the support is also provided health insurance.

A freelance creative person who meets the following requirements has right for support for a freelance creative person:

is between the age of sixteen and pensionable age;

has not received income under a contract under the law of obligations at least during the month preceding application for the support for creative activity;

is not enrolled in daytime or full-time study at an educational institution;

does not serve in the Defence Forces or alternative service;

does not receive a state pension or a pension paid by a foreign state;

does not receive a parental benefit pursuant to the Family Benefits Act;

does not receive a work ability allowance in the amount exceeding one half of the support for creative activity specified in subsection 18 (5) of the CPAAA.

An applicant shall have been active in the corresponding artistic field for the last three years or his or her works have to have been published or directed to the general public within the meaning of sections 9 and 10 of the Copyright Act during that period.

In order to receive support, a freelance creative person shall submit an application to the management board of the Ballet Union at If a creative person is a member of several artistic associations and has not submitted an application regarding the support for him or her to be directed to a single artistic association, an application shall be submitted to all artistic associations where the person is a member. A committee comprised of all members of the Estonian Ballet Union and a representative of the Ministry of Culture decides the granting of support within 45 working days (in regard to creative persons who are not members of an artistic association, within 15 working days) as of the submission of application.

The committee sends a written reply on granting or refusing to grant support for creative activity. The resolution on refusal to grant support and the reasoning therefor are forwarded to the applicant against signature.

Extension of support for creative activity

Support for creative activity may be extended once for a six-month period. In order to do that, the person receiving support shall submit an application for extension at least 30 days before the end of the first support period. At the time of submission of an application for extension, the freelance creative person shall still meet the requirements set forth in section 16 of CPAAA.