95% of US artists are without income because of the pandemic

Over 11,000 artists responded to a survey by the organisations Americans for the Arts and Artist Relief

Artist Relief, the sweeping emergency aid initiative recently launched by seven arts funders, released findings from its new survey assessing how artists are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the results paint a bleak picture, with 95% of respondents reporting loss of income due to the pandemic.

The Impact Survey, which measures the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on individual artists, demonstrate the extremely harsh financial reality faced by artists in the current crisis. It highlight that 62% of artists have become fully unemployed because of COVID-19. Additional findings indicate that 66% of artists are unable to access the resources necessary for their work; 80% do not have a plan to recover after the crisis; and the average decline in estimated total annual income is $27,103.

"While it is heartening to see artists do what they can for their communities, this data is sobering and makes it clear that creative workers need significant advocacy on their behalf to ensure they survive this crisis," Deana Haggag, president and CEO of United States Artists, an Artist Relief coalition member, said in a press release.

The coalition of seven US arts grantmakers has received more than 55,000 applicants for its unrestricted $5,000 relief grant since launching on 8 April, and just completed its first funding cycle.  Additionally, Artist Relief has started a new partnership tier that aims to offer more support for communities throughout the country. The coalition’s first partner under this initiative, the Sundance Institute, will “invest directly into the relief fund to act as a regranting channel for independent artists in those fields,” according to a press release.

Artist Relief is now accepting applications for its second grant cycle. In the meantime, The COVID-19 Impact Survey's findings will remain open through the crisis on Americans for the Arts’s survey dashboard. The organisation hopes to use the findings to advocate for increased support for the cultural sector from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2trn stimulus bill passed by Congress that largely left the arts by the wayside.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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