Arts Council launches survey into visual artists’ livelihoods

Arts Council England has launched a survey into the livelihoods of visual artists in England. Visual artists from across art forms and demographics are invited to contribute their insights.The survey forms part of a wider study, which is the first of its kind in England in a decade. It aims to identify the challenges and barriers faced by visual artists that prevent them from realising their full potential, whilst highlighting how these issues vary across different groups within the sector.

The study will look at social, cultural and economic factors and how each of them impacts visual artists. Location and other factors which affect the movement and retention of artists between the regions, London and internationally will also be explored. 

The study will also provide the Arts Council with a greater understanding of how existing funding programmes impact on the career and development of visual artists in the current landscape.

The study comprises a number of other elements, including focus groups and case studies. It will also draw on existing research.

Peter Heslip, Director of Visual Arts at the Arts Council, said: “A lot has changed in this country since our last study into the working and living conditions for artists over a decade ago. This research  will not only help the Arts Council to develop a better understanding of the visual arts landscape, but will also provide valuable insights to other policy makers, funders and stakeholders in the visual arts sector, and ultimately the artists themselves.

“We would like to encourage as many visual artists as possible to take part in this survey. Together with focus groups and case studies, we hope to get the most wide-ranging picture yet of the challenges and barriers facing individual artists.”

Arts Council England has commissioned research agency TBR, in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company and research consultant James Doeser to undertake the study. The full report will be available in late 2016.

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