COVID-19 was an unexpected intermission for creative arts workers in Victoria: but what happens next? A research snapshot

Artists Labour market disruption Music industry Creative workforce Performing arts Arts Victoria

The arts industry in Victoria has been seriously affected by public health-related state government restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. RMIT researchers invited creative arts workers to share their pandemic experiences in an online qualitative survey.

Key findings:

  • The pandemic disrupted the structures and practices creative arts workers had built to negotiate work insecurity often experienced in their industry.
  • Creative arts workers are grieving the loss of their future.
  • Before the pandemic, the experience of burnout was common for participants.
  • Loss of creative work and community is a loss for wellbeing.
  • Managing mental ill-health during the pandemic brought new opportunities and challenges.

Key recommendations:

  • There is a need to develop grant opportunities in funding and program planning that respond to the nature of work in this sector, including funding for technical and digital resources and roles.
  • There is a need to ensure there are sufficient funding opportunities for nongovernment and small to mid-level companies, organisations and venues that are unable to access grants due to their size, structure and/or resources, including support for technical and administrative workers.
  • Government, artists and other associated organisations need to acknowledge that artistic and financial insecurity can contribute to stress and anxiety, as well as exacerbate more complex or existing mental ill-health that require care and/or support, within and beyond the mental health system.



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