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Survey: Three-quarters of artists affected by pandemic, many consider changing careers

The pandemic has had a notable and even detrimental impact on the arts, according to the survey.

Coronavirus restrictions have had a detrimental impact on the arts. Pictured: Circus artist and actor Thom Monckton at Atheneum Art Museum in autumn 2017. Photo credit: Jari Kovalainen / Yle Image: Jari Kovalainen / Yle

Up to 76 percent of artists surveyed in Finland say the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on their work, and most respondents say the impact has been negative, according to preliminary information from a poll conducted by the Center for Cultural Policy Research (Cupore) and the Arts Promotion Centre (Taike).

A total of 1,080 artists and 160 municipalities responded to the survey. The complete results of the survey will be published in April.

The pandemic has made work difficult or prevented it altogether in all sectors of art, but especially those working in circus, stage and dance arts have suffered. According to the survey, a third of artists working in these fields say they have considered changing careers. In the music industry, one-fifth have considered a career change.

Particularly those under the age of 34 and freelancers are considering switching careers, and female artists have felt the negative impacts of the pandemic more than male artists.

Roughly a third of the municipalities that responded to the survey stated they have supported professional artists affected by the pandemic. The municipalities that have provided support are mainly cities, where most professional artists are based.

Although most of pandemic's effects were seen as negative, some positive factors were also mentioned. The digitisation and emergence of new ways of working, as well as an increase in regional equality due to remote meetings were mentioned as positive effects.