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A new qual­i­ta­tive, lon­gi­tu­di­nal study sur­pris­ing­ly demon­strates how the lives and artis­tic prospects of many visu­al artists improved in pan­dem­ic con­di­tions and by doing so, pro­vides clues to the infra­struc­tur­al shifts need­ed to hon­our and sus­tain the tal­ents and vibran­cy of this diverse con­stituen­cy in future.

While gov­ern­ment and Arts Coun­cil England’s exclu­sive and short-term emer­gency arts fund­ing schemes for free­lancers failed to address visu­al artists’ liveli­hood needs and allowed the major­i­ty to fall through the cracks, the lives and artis­tic prospects of many artists were pos­i­tive­ly improved in pan­dem­ic con­di­tions when the for­mal infra­struc­tures — includ­ing its strict­ly applied gate­keep­ing pro­to­cols and restraints — went dark. 

This inde­pen­dent research study was extend­ed through a com­mis­sion from CAMP, with ear­ly evi­dence includ­ing impli­ca­tions for arts fun­ders and enablers pub­lished on this artists’ mem­ber­ship body’s web­site.