COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor
The Australia Council is working with Patternmakers and WolfBrown to understand changes in behaviours and sentiments of arts-goers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This tracking study is designed to support important decision-making and forward planning across the sector in the coming months.
Baseline data was collected in a cross-sector collaborative survey process involving 159 arts and culture organisations, including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals.
Results from the first phase of the study are now available, with the key insights outlined in a snapshot report and data provided through the Audience Outlook Monitor dashboard.
Arts engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID19- pandemic has impacted our daily lives in many ways including how we engage with arts and creativity. Necessary restrictions around public gatherings and travel have resulted in the closure of cultural venues and cancellation or postponement of events and programs. Many artists and arts organisations have pivoted to digital content during this time.
To gain insights into how Australians are engaging with the arts in COVID-19 lockdown, the Australia Council commissioned Lonergan Research to explore this topic as part of their regular Omnibus Survey.
This summary presents key findings including online arts engagement, creation, reading and the reasons for engaging with the arts.
Summary of COVID-19 impact surveys (Last updated 6 April 2020)
Many artists, organisations, venues, galleries and communities are being impacted by COVID-19 in the short term and are expecting longer term effects.
In the wake of restrictions on public gatherings and travel, a number of peak bodies initiated surveys to track impacts of the pandemic on artists and arts organisations. The Australia Council has brought together the results of the surveys, along with context and commentary, to build a picture of the impacts of COVID-19 across the sector.
This summary will be updated as new information becomes available so please check back regularly.
Please see survey links below for further detail, and if you would like to contribute your own experiences.
I Lost My Gig Australia: For performers, production, crew and others who have lost work through the cancellation of concerts, conferences, events or festivals.
PAC Australia and Culture Counts are working together to amalgamate data collection. Event producers, presenters, supporters and venue managers working within the broader cultural sector can provide information about how the COVID-19 situation has affected their business and if they are adapting their strategies to continue reaching audiences in the current climate.
The survey is available through both Culture Counts and PAC Australia, but you need only respond to one to be counted in the combined results.
NAVA: COVID-19 arts impacts: For visual artists or visual arts organisations impacted by cancellations or changes to events, programs or activities.
Diversity Arts Australia: Lost Work for Artists and Creatives of Colour: For culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) creatives affected by cancellations and postponements in the creative industries.
Impact of COVID-19 on writing practice: For writers and others in the literature sector who have experienced cancellation of events and subsequent loss of income.
Ausdance National COVID-19 Impact Survey: For dance professionals who have been impacted by COVID-19 through lost income and project cancellations.
MEAA: Coronavirus and you: Have you lost work? For workers in the media, entertainment and arts industries affected by COVID-19.
Effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on screen production: For the Australian screen industry to share how coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected their production slate and release schedule.
Impacts of COVID-19 on First Nations arts and culture
This paper outlines the immediate and longer term needs, concerns and potentially catastrophic impacts for First Nations arts and culture in light of COVID-19. This includes potential for the most significant loss of arts, culture and language since the arrival of the First Fleet. Drawing on research and sector intelligence, the paper highlights opportunities for First Nations arts specific support and cross-portfolio advocacy and engagement.
First Nations Contemporary Music receives crucial investment
The Australia Council welcomes the federal government’s commitment of $2 million over four years ($500,000 each year) to be invested through the Indigenous Contemporary Music Program.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP today announced details of the first year of investment, including $250,000 to the Australia Council to deliver First Nations music grants.
Re-activate: beyond step three – a new resource to support COVID-19 recovery
The Australia Council has announced the latest resource in our Re-ignite suite - Re-activate: beyond step three.
This resource sets out industry standards and protocols for the arts and cultural industry to consider in preparation for moving into the next phase of Australia’s response to COVID-19.
These protocols will assist artists and organisations as restrictions ease and provide essential advice regarding the next steps for the arts and cultural industry. This resource is intended to support the cultural industry in considering key elements for re-opening as states and territories move towards re-opening.
The Australia Council is announcing details of its investment opportunities for individuals and organisations
Although the arts and cultural industries, along with all Australians and communities around the world, have experienced incomparable disruption from the impacts of COVID-19, we have never lost sight of the enormous public value of the arts for all Australians.
It is important that we resume our programs and strive to enable creativity to continue to connect us in recovery and in the future; it will be essential for Australia’s recovery. Our creative sector will be indispensable in helping to rebuild communities and our economy to assist navigating Australia’s path out of the crisis. We are working at speed to re-open as many suspended programs as possible to contribute to this recovery and roll out new responsive initiatives.
Australia Council welcomes government's $250 million creative support package
The Australia Council has welcomed the announcement of an industry specific support package for the cultural and creative industries.
“This is a welcome investment in some of the industries hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19” said CEO Adrian Collette AM.
“An investment in the arts is a smart investment in recovery: creativity-led productivity fuels our economy and our social fabric. Arts and culture are major drivers for tourism, both domestic and international. They boost the hospitality sector. They underpin the vitality of our cities and regions, and the perception of Australia internationally.”
Australia Council for the Arts submission
Select Committee on COVID-19 inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Date: June 2020
This submission outlines:
- the impacts of COVID-19 on Australia’s cultural and creative industries and
- the measures taken by the Australia Council for the Arts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australia Council has been listening to arts and cultural organisations, peak bodies and independent artists about the impacts of COVID-19 and the changes needed to re-ignite arts and cultural activity across the country. As a result, we have produced the following response: Re-activate which supports jurisdictional compliance.
Re-activate – is a practical, user-friendly guide for independent artists and organisations. It outlines how to confidently comply with government guidelines to recommence practice and open doors to welcome audiences, visitors and customers. It complies with the existing requirements of steps 2 and 3 of the Australian Government’s 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia.
Australia Council's approach to Sector Recovery
The Australia Council recognises the impact COVID-19 has had on the cultural and creative sectors. This has had an immense flow on effect for the broader community and economy.
As our sector grapples with the immediate effects of this unprecedented disruption we must also begin to turn our minds to the future, in all its uncertainty, and imagine what that might look like, and what we want it to look like: its challenges and opportunities, and how we can plan for the cultivation of a strong and vibrant ecology.
Head of Sector Development
JobKeeper and the cultural and creative industries
This paper outlines the immediate and longer term needs of the cultural and creative industries pertaining to the JobKeeper program. While JobKeeper will have a significant benefit, in its current form it will not support a large proportion of the creative workforce. This is due to the specific nature of the cultural and creative industries which are characterised by extremely high levels of casualisation and freelancing. Support for these small businesses, sole traders and our creative economy is vital. Our sector will be essential in helping to rebuild communities and navigate Australia’s path out of the crisis.