Covid-19 Surveys - Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi

Covid-19 Surveys

State of the Arts Survey February/March 2022

We recently completed the analysis of results from our third quarterly State of the Arts survey. This survey was conducted in February and March 2022, during ongoing red light Covid restrictions across the country. The Tāmaki Makaurau findings, as well as national findings, showed a concerning but unsurprising continued decline of optimism across various metrics; notably financial position, achievement of creative goals and appetite for creative work.

The findings, both regionally and nationally, show that while emergency funding support has been administered, there are still a large need for longer term systemic and structural change for the arts, creative and cultural sector to rebuild and thrive. While there is a level of hopeful optimism from respondents, these findings echo the need for a long-term sustainable sector strategy and infrastructure.

Tāmaki Makaurau key findings

Tāmaki Makaurau respondents have shifted to become even more pessimistic about their financial position: Respondents rated their outlook on whether their creative work would support their financial position in the next 12 months. Compared to the September-October survey, pessimism increased from 55% to 65%, and optimism fell from 45% to 32%, indicating a declining trend in optimism since the initial June-July survey.

Fewer respondents expected to either increase their current staff or contractor numbers, compared to the previous survey: The number of respondents who expect to take on new staff or contractors had decreased (from 44% to 25%) and those who expect staff or contractor numbers to stay the same or reduce had increased (from 34% to 42% and 11% to 19% respectively).

Tāmaki Makaurau respondents’ view on achieving their creative goals shifted to become more pessimistic: Respondents rated their outlook on whether they would achieve their own or their organisations’ creative goals in the next 12 months (from 1 meaning very pessimistic to 6 meaning very optimistic). Compared to the September-October survey, pessimism increased from 41% to 50%, and optimism fell from 57% to 49%. This indicates a declining trend in optimism since the initial June-July survey.

Tāmaki Makaurau respondents tended to report that audience appetite for their creative work had decreased: With 39% reporting audience appetite being less than usual, 26% reporting that it was the more than usual and 22% reporting that it was the same. Overall, the average rating was 1.9 out of 3 (from 1 meaning less than usual to 3 meaning more than usual). This is slightly lower than the average rating for September-October (2.0).

Respondents shared the things they were most worried about in 2022 in relation to their creative work or the work of their organisations. The most commonly raised concerns were: 

The impacts of the pandemic on their creative work and/or the creative sector more broadly.

Whether they would have enough money to live on and/or whether their organisations or businesses would survive.

The extent to which there was enough financial support for the creative sector and about how funding was allocated.

The impacts of COVID-19 restrictions such as limits on audience numbers, border restrictions, vaccination mandates and passes as well as worries about keeping themselves and others safe.

The ability to connect with audiences and potential buyers of creative work. Some were worried that audiences won’t return and that low visitor numbers meant few purchasers of art and other creative works.

Systemic issues such as which groups are in decision-making positions in the creative sector and the design of funding structures.

How the stress of the pandemic was impacting on their well-being, particularly mental well-being, and of others around them.

Other themes included: the loss of skilled people from the creative sector as many people were leaving the industry; the lack of value placed on the creative sector; the difficulty with trying to develop a career in the creative sector; increased inequities where privileged groups do well in the current environment and others remain excluded from participating and venues closing.

Respondents shared the things they were feeling most positive about in 2022 in relation to their creative work or the work of their organisation. The following themes were identified:

Their creative practice and/or their ability to at least do some work.

Audience enthusiasm for the creative industries including enthusiasm for Mātauranga Māori, international interest and potentially pent-up market demand for the arts.

Having the time and space to develop new works, explore ideas or study.

The lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions, for example, after the Omicron wave and returning to normal.

The resilience of creative people and the sector.

The potential for innovation and creativity and the creative sectors’ role to engage with diverse communities.

The financial and government support they had received and their ability to keep creating.

Other themes included: the intrinsic value of artists and creative activities; the opportunities created by digital platforms; the move towards indigenous frameworks and valuing Te Ao Māori and any opportunities for performing.

Tāmaki Makaurau Infographic

National Infographic

Link to reports: Tāmaki Makaurau and National.

An important note on the use of the language of ‘creative’ in the description of ‘creative work’. This term is meant to encompass the wide range of roles that exist within the arts, culture, heritage and creative industries – across administration, management, production, curatorial, technical staff – the enablers and supporters of creative work, as well as artists and practitioners.

The State of the Arts research was funded by Arts Wellington with the support of Wellington City Council (Pōneke), Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi (Tāmaki Makaurau), Creative Waikato (Kirikiriroa) and the and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It was carried out by Dovetail NZ.

The quarterly survey aims to measure trends over time about the state of the arts sector in Aotearoa and tap into key issues emerging in the creative sector, allowing more effective sector advocacy on behalf of individuals and organisations.

The final quarterly State of the Arts survey will be live in June 2022.

State of the Arts Survey October 2021

We recently completed analysis of our second State of the Arts survey results, which ran in September – October 2021. The survey timing aligned with the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown periods, and provided insights into the impact of these restrictions on the arts, culture and creative sector. Key findings are listed below. You can read the full survey reports and infographics here:

Aotearoa survey report and Tāmaki Makaurau survey report.

Aotearoa Infographic

Tāmaki Makaurau Infographic

The State of the Arts research was funded by Arts Wellington with the support of Wellington City Council (Pōneke), Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi (Tāmaki Makaurau), Creative Waikato (Kirikiriroa) and the and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It was carried out by Dovetail NZ.

The quarterly survey aims to measure trends over time about the state of the arts sector in Aotearoa and tap into key issues emerging in the creative sector, allowing more effective sector advocacy on behalf of individuals and organisations.

Our initial State of the Arts survey ran in June – July 2021, followed by this survey which ran in September – October 2021. In total we had 530 responses from across different roles and locations in Aotearoa.

Creative freelancers working in performing and visual arts were highly represented the total sample. More respondents reported being a creative freelancer (50%) than any other role in the creative sector. Performing arts was the most prominent area reported (47%), followed by visual arts (45%) and music (28%).

This survey saw a clear move toward a more pessimistic view about respondents’ financial position. On outlook to whether creative work would support financial position in the next 12 months, the average weighting was 3.0 out of 6*. This is significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the average weighting of the June-July survey (3.4). *1 meaning very pessimistic to 6 meaning very optimistic.

In terms of meeting creative goals over the next 12 months, views have also shifted to become more pessimistic. The average weighting was 3.7 out of 6, which is significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the average weighting of the June-July survey (4.2). *1 meaning very pessimistic to 6 meaning very optimistic. Respondents’ perception of audience appetite for their creative work has also decreased. 32% reported audience appetite being more than usual, 31% reported that it was the same as usual and 25% reported that it was less. Overall, the average weighting was 2.1 out of 3. This is lower (p < 0.05) than the average weighting of the June-July survey (2.3).

The timeframe that respondents expected to be impacted by the latest COVID-19 lockdowns fell between four months to two years. Nearly all (95%) respondents reported being affected by the latest COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns. A majority of respondents indicated their creative work would be impacted by more than six months (58%), with 16% indicating seven months to one year, 20% indicating one to two years, and 11% indicating two years or more.

Recognition of the role arts, culture and creativity plays in a COVID environment and emergency funding were most important to respondents, when asked what was most important in the face of ongoing COVID-19 disruption?. Statements that were most important to respondents where more than 90% either strongly agreed or agreed included the recognition of the role arts, culture, and creativity plays in a COVID environment; emergency relief / resilience funding to support core operations during Alert Levels 4, 3, 2; mental health and wellbeing support; and sector guidelines and resources for operating at different alert levels. Full responses to this question are as below.

Key qualitative themes that emerged from respondent feedback included suggestions for new strategies and approaches to support the creative sector, a call for changes to funding priorities and processes, greater recognition of the value of the arts, concerns about financial security and the importance of the independent sector.

The third quarterly State of the Arts survey will be live in early 2022.

State of the Arts Survey - June 2021 results

We’re sharing the results of our inaugural State of the Arts survey, that was undertaken in June 2021.

The responses we received from creatives, administrators and enablers across so many different art forms were heartening, deepening our understanding about how this longitudinal survey can start to act as strong advocacy for the sector over time.

It’s also essential to acknowledge that the landscape we are now working and living in has changed dramatically over the last month, and so many of the responses we received from in June would look starkly different right now. Results have been split across Auckland and Wellington. Our September 2021 survey has a wider reach and we’ll aim to report on all responses across Aotearoa.

The key sector issues that respondents raised were reviewing arts structure funding, fostering financial sustainability for artists, a comprehensive arts sector strategy and arts education. Auckland report can be found here and Wellington report can be found here.

An important note on the use of the language of ‘creative’ in the description of ‘creative work’. This term is meant to encompass the wide range of roles that exist within the arts, culture, heritage and creative industries – across administration, management, production, curatorial, technical staff – the enablers and supporters of creative work, as well as artists and practitioners.

This survey was run by Dovetail, led by Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi and Toi o Taraika Arts Wellington (supported by Wellington City Council).

Tāmaki Makaurau - Auckland Infographic

Toi Pōneke - Wellington Infographic

COVID-19: Impact on Auckland’s Creative Sector - second survey results

11th November 2020

Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi commissioned Dovetail, an Auckland-based research and evaluation company, to undertake a second survey to understand the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on Auckland’s creative sector. The survey was distributed via email and social media networks in September 2020. We had 146 responses, with the responses providing an overview of impacts, including event cancellations, financial impacts, priorities, support needs and reflections from COVID-19.

Survey report

COVID-19: Infographic

Level 4 Lockdown March/April 2020 - Impact Survey Results

Impact survey results

In late March, Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi commissioned Dovetail, an Auckland-based research and evaluation company, to undertake a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Auckland’s creative sector. The survey was distributed via email and social media networks over the first two weeks of April 2020. We had 332 responses, with the responses revealing both the immediate impacts of the crisis, and the underlying fragility of the arts sector.

In terms of the immediate impacts, more than 80% of respondents said that they had cancelled an event or service due to COVID-19 containment measures. This has meant sharp reductions in individual and organisational incomes.  Added to this is uncertainty about when individuals and organisations involved in the arts will again be able to use established platforms to connect with their audiences.  The survey reveals the sector is making use of the support provided through Government, as well as actively working to find innovative ways to connect with audiences and patrons.

The findings are a call to action to address the medium to long-term health of the arts sector.  Only 39% of respondents are confident that they will still be working in the creative sector in six months’ time.  Actions suggested to address this uncertainty and ensure that the arts sector recovers from the COVID-19 crisis include addressing medium to long-term financial support; supporting in-sector collaboration; the creation of new spaces and platforms to showcase, share and monetise; capacity building and nourishing local sector and content.

Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi will share the survey findings widely to support the sector, government, Creative New Zealand and other funders, as we collaborate with them both to address the sector’s immediate needs and to put the arts sector onto a sustainable foundation for the future.

In September we commissioned a survey to follow-up on the April survey to see how the landscape has changed in the last six months.  Results will be available at the end of October.

Executive summary

Survey report

COVID-19: Infographic