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.
- 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.
- 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.