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).
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.
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.