Third of arts workers ‘lost all income in April’

The Scottish Contemporary Art Network said the sector faces enormous risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

Survey: The Scottish Contemporary Art Network said the sector faces 'enormous risk'. Pixabay
Survey: The Scottish Contemporary Art Network said the sector faces 'enormous risk'.

Around a third of individuals involved in Scotland’s contemporary arts industry lost all of their income during April, according to a survey.

The Scottish Contemporary Art Network (Scan) said the sector faces enormous risk to the income streams that help support its work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Seven in ten organisations said they are likely to cancel programmes or projects, while 65% said they expect to see a lower positive impact on the public.

A total of 29% of individual respondents had lost 100% of their income in April, the survey reports.

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Scan director Clare Harris said: “Artists, art workers and arts organisations are interconnected, with many in the visual art workforce making a living from their own practice combined with a range of work.

“Our survey gives us a view across the visual art infrastructure and highlights to government and funding bodies the extent of the crisis and the very real impacts on livelihoods.

“As governments across the UK begin to roll out lockdown exit planning, we need to work hard for a recovery that will enable the visual art community to get back on its feet and continue to produce work that has a far-reaching benefit for our society.”

The survey shows 76% of respondents – both individuals and organisations – had lost income in April, by an average of 53%.

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Loss of income was cited as being the biggest challenge for both individuals (31%) and organisations (44%).

After that, individuals said the biggest challenge is loss of engagement with the public (17%), and organisations claimed covering staff costs is the next biggest difficulty (26%).

Scan is a member-led organisation which exists to connect and cultivate contemporary visual art in Scotland.

Its 180 members – of which 108 took part in the survey – include national institutions, publicly-funded organisations, commercial galleries, education facilities, voluntary collectives, production facilities, artists and individual workers.


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