On 8 April 2020, Culture Counts launched the first stage of its research initiative to measure and understand the impact of COVID-19 on the cultural industries.
The research is designed to constructively present a unified story – by offering a standardised approach for measuring this impact, and consequently, to gain actionable insights that are comparable across the sector. We invited organisations to share their experiences and the stories have been devastating – 96% have cancelled programs, 88% have lost revenue, 58% reported ineligibility for the Australian Government’s JobKeeper package.
The latest business impact report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics mirrors these sentiments with the Arts and Recreation Services the highest industry with anticipated adverse impacts by government restrictions (94%) and its reduced ability to pay operating expenses (71%).
For reduced demands for goods and services (83%), Arts and Recreation Services was the second highest industry with anticipated adverse impacts. It’s a grim picture and not one that is widely publicised amongst the public.
The Cultural Counts’ April impact report is designed to create these conversations to the public arena – to bring awareness of the invaluable economic, cultural, social, and civic impacts the arts industry provides and the potential losses if this industry isn’t supported during COVID-19.
The April report provides a snapshot of the current situation – what has happened, how are organisations have adapted and what types of support could play a critical role in their continued existence. By providing a unified story with data and actionable insights – we hope to enable the sector to better navigate survival, adaptation, innovation and recovery during this time.
“Through working with hundreds of cultural organisations, we see first-hand the dedication, commitment and sheer hard work required to deliver events and programs. We see the impacts that creative practices can have in everyday life because we provide the tools for measuring it. This is the first in a series of research pieces tracking the pandemic’s impact, the sector’s response and long term changes in the way we present and consume arts and cultural content”. – Michael Chappell, CEO, Culture Counts.