C4 Atlanta recently closed the Atlanta COVID-19 Artist Impact Survey. Our staff would like to share some of the preliminary findings ahead of our full data analysis. We will be sharing more detailed findings shortly.

The purpose of this survey was to gauge the overall impact of losses by individual artists and impact due to COVID-19 related social distancing and medical issues.

C4 Atlanta partnered with Dekalb Entertainment Commission to distribute the survey.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has agreed to help with data analysis and is currently pouring over our data for deeper dives.

This survey is modeled off of another survey by MidAmerica Arts Alliance of midwestern arts organizations. We have used their survey as a model in order to compare data between our two regions. In addition to releasing our findings publicly, we will share our data with MidAmerica Arts Alliance in order to compare trends nationally in COVID-19 impact.

We intend to release a follow-up survey later in the summer gauging longer-term impact and changes as the pandemic progresses.

All findings are as of April 24, 2020, the date our survey initially closed.

Here is a snapshot of our preliminary data:

  • As of April 24, the total amount lost for all artists responding (about 978 of 1014 total responses) is between  $5.1 and $6.9 million.
  • Initial lost income estimates (per artist) – As of April 24, it is estimated that the average about of income lost is between  $5,230 – $7,092 per artist and could be even higher since some artists reported losing $20,000+.

Who responded: 1014 individuals

  • Gender:  66% women, 32% men, 2% nonbinary
  • Ethnicity: 62% White, 23% Black, remaining 15% Asian, Latinx, and other races or declined to answer
  • Disciplines: From all sorts of disciplines but the largest sectors represented were 28% theatre or acting, 23% film production, 14% visual, 12% music, with other disciplines represented in smaller percentages.
  • Percentage of overall income derived from art making or arts industry work: 50% get most or all of their income from their art practice. 65% get at least half.

What has been lost (as of April 24, 2020):

  • Amount of Gigs/Jobs lost: 66% have lost 3 or more paying gigs; 34% have lost 6 or more
    • 75% of responding artists have lost more than $1000 so far;  40% have lost more than $5000 so far. Some have already lost more than $20k.
    • Overall 83% have lost enough to impact their livelihood
    • If they earn income from outside of the arts, 72% have lost or partially lost that income.

What does that mean for them?

    • For April 2020, 25% are NOT confident they can meet their financial obligations
    • By August that number rises to 75%
    • If they were to have to rely just on savings, 40% could make it three months or longer. 15% could make it six months.

What do they need? 

  • 44% reported that their mental health was impacted.
  • Top Three Biggest Needs:
    • Salary and wages – either gigs, if feasible, or replacement (63%)
    • Mortgage or rent relief (40%)
    • Communication tools/resources (19%)
  • 58% of responding artists intended to apply for some form of emergency relief funding.

We’ll release more findings shortly!

Special thanks to our partners Shelbia Jackson at Dekalb Entertainment Commission, Josh Phillipson and Maria Sotnikova at the Atlanta Regional Commission! Thanks also to the many other artists, artists groups and arts organizations who shared this survey.