Membership of Aosdána, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to 250 living artists who have produced a distinguished body of work. Members must have been born in Ireland or have been resident here for five years, and must have produced a body of work that is original and creative. The current membership is 247. Membership is now open to architects and choreographers.
A number of members are recognised by their peers for outstanding achievement by the title of Saoi. No more than seven current members may be so honoured at one time. The title of Saoi is conferred by the President of Ireland and is held for life.
Members of Aosdána may avail under certain conditions of the Cnuas, a stipend which is designed to enable them to devote their energies fully to their work. The Arts Council reassesses eligibility of the Cnuas every five years.
Aosdána members meet annually in a General Assembly, to elect new members, to review the affairs of the organisation and to discuss the position of the artist, and the arts in society.