Artists and curators are seeing stark impacts of Covid-19 on their practice, business and lives with many reporting that they have had work, events and exhibitions cancelled and uncertainty about income an immediate concern.
These are the key findings of a-n’s just published Covid-19 impact survey which reflects the views of over 4,000 a-n members in response to our recent survey into the effects of the public health crisis on artists and arts organisers.
Whilst overall, 93% of respondents say that they, their practice or career have been affected by the pandemic, the survey shows that 82% of respondents have had upcoming work cancelled, including events, performances and public activities, and a further 59% have had to cancel their own work activities.
96% of respondents indicate income reduction as a significant immediate impact of the pandemic, with 60% expecting income to be down over 50% in 2020. Those working in craft and applied arts and performance, as well as those based in rural locations, predict the greatest reduction.
Commissions, grants and awards is another area of uncertainty with many artists unsure if awards will be honoured when activities are no longer possible. The impact of the outbreak on access to studio space and restrictions on how artists connect and network with other artists and curators are also concerns.
Speaking in the foreword of the report, a-n’s CEO Julie Lomax says: “We conducted this survey because we wanted to know more about the impact of Covid-19 on artists’ livelihoods and creative practice.
“The results are a stark reminder of precarity in the arts. Artists have long been asked to navigate and shape-shift through a complex set of structures, relationships and arrangements that are both global and local, often for little to no pay. What starts in the studio as a mostly solo creative practice is reliant on a thriving visual arts sector, audiences, relationships and connections. When these break down so does the ability to sustain creative practice.”
Respondents to the survey also gave their views on how a-n can help artists and arts organisers during the period of uncertainty created by the Covid-19 outbreak. Financial support, lobbying, advice, training and keeping members connected were identified as key areas for a-n to focus its work.
“We have listened and there is much to do. We have developed Time Space Money in partnership with Arts Council England to provide funding to artists and arts organisers, we have used this research to advocate for our members to Government, and we are providing information, advice and support for our members. On behalf of a-n Board and Artists Council I want to thank everybody who contributed to this research. We are passionate about artists and care about your future.”
Read and download the full report below and download the Covid-19 impact survey infographic here.