HEartS Professional: The Health, Economic, and Social Impact of COVID-19 on Professionals in the Arts

Principal Investigator: Professor Aaron Williamon (Royal College of Music, London)

This project has investigated the experience of arts professionals across the creative industries in response to COVID-19. Through longitudinal sector-wide surveys, audience questionnaires and qualitative follow-up studies, the research also sheds light on key challenges artists will face in a post-pandemic cultural environment. Findings explore financial and mental health challenges experienced by artists during the pandemic, identify changing priorities of early career professionals (including a desire to further integrate social responsibility within their work), and highlight the changing expectations of arts audiences.

Key preliminary policy recommendations include:

  • A need for long-term, sustainable funding models for freelance arts workers that are better able to mitigate the financial precarities of short-term project work.
  • Specialised training and funding routes that promote the expansion of virtual and hybrid performance capabilities for individuals and organisations.
  • Support for approaches that integrate artists with community health to enable mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

DOWNLOAD POLICY BRIEF

VIEW VISUAL REPORT OF FINDINGS FROM FIRST SURVEY