Art Market

A survey found that 95 percent of artists have lost income because of COVID-19.

Daria Simone Harper
Apr 24, 2020 4:12PM, via Artist Relief

Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash.

The emergency relief fund Artist Relief has released findings from its new survey assessing how artists are impacted by COVID-19, and the results paint a bleak picture, with 95 percent of respondents reporting loss of income due to the pandemic. The coalition of seven U.S. arts grantmakers has received more than 55,000 applicants for its unrestricted $5,000 relief grant since launching on April 8th, and just completed its first funding cycle. The coalition also launched the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, which has garnered more than 11,000 responses; the survey is co-presented with the non-profit Americans for the Arts.

The survey’s results—which highlight that 62 percent of artists have become fully unemployed because of COVID-19—demonstrate the extremely harsh financial reality faced by artists in the current crisis. Additional findings indicate that 66 percent of artists are unable to access the resources necessary for their work; 80 percent do not have a plan to recover after the crisis; and the average decline in estimated total annual income is $27,103.

Deana Haggag, president and CEO of United States Artists, an Artist Relief coalition member, said in a press release:

The Impact Survey organized by Americans for the Arts is a critical element of Artist Relief. 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.

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, survey’s findings are being updated in real time on Americans for the Arts’s survey dashboard.

Further Reading: COVID-19 Relief Funds for Artists You Can Support

Further Reading: How 10 Artists Are Staying Creative through COVID-19

Daria Simone Harper