Tuesday, 13 July, 2021
The arts and culture sectors have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. New research by the Hunter Research Foundation Centre provides one of the first analyses into the impact of the pandemic on the arts sector in an Australian regional centre.
Among the research findings was that COVID-19 had an immediate effect on employment and income and, especially for younger people, associated social and psychological impacts of social isolation, challenges reaching audiences and creative expression. Despite this, during the pandemic, the arts and culture sector has been critical to maintaining overall community and individual wellbeing and social cohesion, made possible through innovative online and digital platforms.
The research also found that while the crisis was felt throughout the arts and culture sector, the impact was not equal for all activities and workers. Nor was it equal across Australian cities and regions, or across individuals and different arts and culture organisations.
The research was commissioned by the Hunter Creative Alliance (formerly ICAN) and funded by the City of Newcastle.
The research aims to provide a baseline to benchmark the current state of play for the arts and culture sector in Newcastle, and recommendations to inform policy and strategic planning for the city and its arts organisations. Importantly, it also provides insights and lessons for other major regional centres.