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Do artists’ liveli­hoods matter?

Although artists’ liveli­hoods depend on their agency and capac­i­ty to cre­ate and cap­i­talise on their social and eco­nom­ic assets, there’s an inevitable — and unen­vi­able — strug­gle between the intrin­sic moti­va­tions under­pin­ning their art prac­tices and the small busi­ness’ expec­ta­tions of a self-employed status.

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Artists’ liveli­hoods in freefall

Gov­ern­ment and Arts Coun­cil Eng­land were praised in the Covid19 emer­gency for fast imple­men­ta­tion of ad hoc strate­gies for finan­cial sup­port for arts and cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions and job reten­tion schemes for salaried staff. Despite the equal­i­ty and diver­si­ty rhetorics of the fund­ed arts, analy­sis of respons­es to the DCMS Inquiry into the Impact of Covid-19 reveal that indi­vid­ual free­lance visu­al artists will suf­fer worst unless addi­tion­al reme­di­al actions are taken.

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