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How COVID-19 Has Affected The Arts Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a sudden and significant impact on many industries worldwide. From reduced revenues to increased unemployment, many businesses have had to adjust organizational operations to better soften the blow of the pandemic.

The arts industry, in particular, had to adjust its practices and methods to deal with the ongoing public health crisis. Here are some of the many ways COVID-19 has affected the arts industry:

1. Impact On Freelance Artists

One way the global pandemic has shaken the arts industry is by landing a huge blow on freelance, self-employed, and small-scale creatives. The social distancing mandate to stop the spread of COVID-19 has affected a wide range of autograph dealers, street artists, private innovators, and many other people who use and create art in different ways. One of such ways is a drastic reduction in the sales of creative pieces. This is predominantly because many art lovers are aware that they need to protect themselves from the disease that's out there and have taken some precautions, particularly by increasing social distancing.

Additionally, many of such art fans are opting for more online methods of kindling their creative spirits.

2. Reduced Revenue Generation

Most organizations in the industry largely depend on visitors for revenue generation. Art shows, music shows, theatre plays, and other gatherings to celebrate forms of art are the heart of this industry. However, with the implementation of policies focused on promoting social-distancing measures, many potential visitors are restricted to their homes and have had to avoid public gatherings.

Such actions have led to the closure of numerous art organizations including museums, galleries, in-person exhibitions, and many other venue-based creative outlets. Additionally, due to a reduction in sales, many art dealers have also been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, many such organizations in the industry have taken a significant blow in garnering profit.

3. Increased Unemployment

According to a recent study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), jobs in the cultural and creative industry fall within a 0.8 to 5.5% employment margin.

Simply put, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the employment rate of numerous arts industry workers and producers. The reduced investment in the sector has led to increased occurrence of employee lay-offs and reduced wage earnings for current workers.

What's worse is that the pandemic would most likely have a lasting effect on numerous creative outlets. Menial income would lead to a significant reduction in individual creativity, lack of cultural diversity, and without a stable means of providing income, many organizations in the industry would lack ways of providing decent salaries. And industry workers would suffer from it.

4. Heightened Restrictive Measures

During the latter parts of the year, museums, libraries, galleries, and many other creative outlets slowly opened up to receiving visitors but at a cost. To lessen the spread of COVID-19, many organizations have had to implement strict methods to aid social distance and protective protocols. Some of these methods include restricting the number of visitors per time, only allowing in people with face masks, providing hand sanitizers and handwashing equipment, and ensuring social distances of 6ft are being observed.

Many organizations in the arts industry are investing in various methods to stop the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring employers, employees, and visitors are obeying health protocols to protect themselves against the virus.

5. Inclusion Of Online Methods

On the bright side, like many other sectors in the world, the arts industry has opened its doors to the virtual space. To control the detrimental effects of COVID in the art industry, many creative innovations have had to shift to online methods.

One of such methods is the provision of cultural and creative content such as art autographs and art pieces on online platforms. By including online methods in delivering creative content, the arts industry has done a great job in keeping art lovers engaged and hopeful. And while the method might not seem sustainable in the long run, creating and distributing art pieces online has made more space for increased creative variation and innovation.

However, to unlock the full potential of the online conduit, there's a need to invest in training workers in the industry on how to best navigate the online space and improve digital skills.


The global pandemic has indeed challenged many structures in the arts industry. Now more than ever, there's a need to replace such faulty structures with more flexible and stable systems in response to the strain. And hopefully, the industry would be better equipped to last beyond the confines of physical and economic restrictions.

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How COVID-19 Has Affected The Arts Industry

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