The immediate future for independent creatives just got a little less foggy. And supporters of artists in Indiana are doing something about what they see.
In partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and more than 25 partners across the state, Indiana Arts Commission surveyed over 1,400 creatives about the impact of COVID-19 on their finances, life and artistic career. Here’s what we learned:
- Things are not great, but creatives want to work.
- 79% of Indiana creatives have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- 53% of creatives are reporting a significant loss of income because of cancellations.
- The most important need? Living expenses.
- To creatives, supporting them in a meaningful way means contracts, projects commissions, gigs and other paid opportunities, as well as guidance on best practices for re-opening and re-engaging the audience and general public.
- Those who say they don’t need support right now may see hardship soon.
- Roughly 55% of respondents had less than three months of savings on hand by the end of May.
- The weekly $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is very important, and will end on July 25.
- Unemployment is a challenge. About half of respondents see themselves as unemployed. Of those...
- 16% of them have not applied for unemployment.
- 33% have applied and are waiting for benefits.
- 51% have started receiving benefits.
- Creatives want to be part of the solution by:
- Connecting communities and giving opportunities for human expression,
- Offering a source of positivity and joy, and
- Solving problems.
Emergency relief programs can alleviate some of these short-term issues—like the Indiana Housing Now rental aid program or gener8tor’s individual emergency support consultations. Ongoing open communication helps disseminate these types of opportunities to all creative enclaves and practices in the state.
The more complicated issues are being crowdsourced. When it comes to these COVID challenges, what structures, organizations, programs, or experts are already out there? How can they be scaled up or connected to the creative ecosystem? What practices or habits can we steal and adapt from other sectors?
As a result of this survey, artists and artist-supporting organizations have been meeting to unpack and respond to these issues via Zoom. So far, two working groups have formed to address these identified gaps:
- Reopening guidelines for independent creatives
- Entrepreneurship training for creatives during COVID and beyond
Want to know about the next meetup, or want to contribute to a working group? We need Indiana creatives and creative community organizers from all disciplines and backgrounds. Contact us to get connected.