22 November 2022

9 TO 5 - A handbook for the Artist Assistant Scheme (Kunstnerassistentordningen)

This handbook is for those who are, or wish to become, part of the Arts Council Norway’s (Kulturrådet) Artist Assistant Scheme, or Kunstnerassistentordningen, either as a newly established artist, assistant and employee or as an established artist and employer. We have collected information about the application process, employment conditions, rights and obligations you have in the employment relationship. Our aim is to make your application process easier and that it turns into a fruitful working relationship.

Some parts of this handbook are for both parties, while other parts are aimed at either the assistant or the established artist.



The Artist Assistant Scheme gives artists in the establishing phase of their career the opportunity to work as an assistant for a more established artist in the capacity of 50% waged employment for one or two years. The aim of the scheme is to share experiences and transfer expertise from established to newly trained artists, providing them with networking opportunities and income security for both parties. In 2022, there were 14 positions each amounting to NOK 310,000 per year, paid as a salary. The assistant will be able to continue their own artistic practice and receive other types of grants in parallel to the assistant position. The grant is paid to the established artist who employs an assistant. The subsidy will go towards paying the assistant’s salary, in addition to covering other related expenses such as holiday pay, occupational injury insurance and pension.



Chapter 6 is written in English as it is directed at non-EU/EEA artists living and working in Norway wanting to apply to the Kunstnerassistent scheme. It also offers information for the established artists who wish to start a working relationship with a migrant artist in the establishing phase.
We have collected information and advice on good co-operation strategies, ethical working culture, clear communication and expectation management to ensure the best possible outcome for your collaboration. However, the main focus will be on exposing the different immigration policies that regulate and often prevent emerging non-EU/EEA artists from engaging with the scheme. We also aim to offer a comprehensive map of the difficulties these artists experience with Norway’s immigration regulations and how more established artists can support them before, during and after the working period.

Please note that some of the immigration-related information shared here is anecdotal and has been collected through peer-to-peer accounts and from the work of Verdensrommet, a mutual support network for non-EU/EEA artists based in Norway. Therefore, we encourage the users of this resource to contact the official government bodies for more accurate information or feedback relevant to their particular cases. This resource is only a reference document provided by UKS for your convenience. In case of any discrepancy between this document and UDI’s (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) publicly available data, official governmental resources and advice should be followed.

For more peer-to-peer, anecdotal information, tips and guides, please visit Verdensrommet.

An established non-EU/EEA artist with a company in Norway can also find themselves in the position of being the established artist in the working relationship rather than the assistant.


Tips, feedback or experiences are gratefully received at info@uks.no.

Click on the image below to download the handbook:

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