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 third 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.
Survey for First Nations Music Artists
How do First Nations musicians feel about the music industry? What is working? What could be improved on in the music business in relation to their cultural practice and community responsibilities?
First Nations music plays a vital role in Australia’s music identity. At this critical time, it is essential that the voices of First Nation musicians – custodians of the oldest musical practice in the world – are at the centre of dialogue and decision-making to ensure opportunities for the sector continue to grow and thrive, so the next generation can participate in a cultural future.
The results of the Survey of First Nations Music Artists provide much needed insights into the strengths, challenges and needs of the sector. The responses gathered can provide insights to inform the music industry as it recovers, rebuilds and looks to the future – a future in which First Nations talent and artistry is nurtured, celebrated and central in the music industry and Australia’s culture.
Re-imagine: What next?
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted the arts and cultural industries. The pandemic has illuminated pressures we were already feeling. It is bringing to light aspects of our industry many have long wanted to change, along with new issues we are now being forced to address.
Future disruptions are inevitable, and the arts and cultural industries must rapidly adjust to ensure they don’t just survive but thrive in the future.
We have heard from many artists, cultural practitioners and organisations through industry roundtables, surveys, informal conversations and focus groups. We have heard from you as you deal with and respond to the immediate crisis, and whilst you consider how to start thinking productively about the future.
Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey
Creating Our Future: Results of the National Arts Participation Survey is the fourth study in the landmark research series that explores Australians’ engagement with and attitudes towards the arts.
The National Arts Participation Survey asks how Australians are engaging with arts and creativity in our daily lives. How do Australians feel about arts and creativity? How is our arts engagement changing? Do we recognise the impacts of arts and creativity in our lives and communities? How do Australians feel about public funding for the arts?
Creating Art Part 1: The makers’ view of pathways for First Nations theatre and dance
Creating Art Part 1: The makers’ view of pathways for First Nations theatre and dance is the latest study in a series commissioned by the Australia Council with the aim of supporting the First Nations arts sector to connect more Australians to First Nations arts experiences and grow opportunities for First Nations artists.
Conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the research provides vital insights that can inform the recovery and future sustainability of the First Nations arts ecology.
Based on in-depth interviews with 45 dance and theatre makers, Creating Art Part 1 explores First Nations artists’ experiences realising work; maps pathways for works; and highlights opportunities, challenges and calls to action.
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.