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Survey finds critical role for arts and creative industry in Covid environment

Survey finds critical role for arts and creative industry in Covid environment

Dr. Jeremy Mayall, CEO of Creative Waikato, says that the organisation is on a mission strengthen its advocacy work. Photo / Supplied

Although the arts and creative industry are not the first to come to mind when you think of industries that play an active role within a Covid-19 ecosystem, the State of the Arts survey shows that it should.

One of the key findings from the survey is that awareness of the importance of arts, culture, creativity and covid environments is crucial.

The 12 questions in the quarterly survey aim to identify and measure trends within Aotearoa’s arts sector. The survey included 530 creatives from across the country. 96 of them came from Waikato.

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One respondent stated that the arts were not recognized as an integral part of our culture, senses and community and their positive impact on mental wellbeing. These points could be promoted more nationally to help artists get properly paid and valued.

Dr. Jeremy Mayall, CEO Creative Waikato, said that the survey provides important insights into the arts, culture, and creative sectors.

“In our own sector, art, culture, and creativity are a stress relief. It is good for our mental and physical health.

“But now we have heard that it is essential to celebrate these more widely – and this means continuing to advocate and communicate the importance to all New Zealanders creativity in all forms.”

It is no secret that Covid-19 lockdowns, outbreaks, and other problems have affected the creative industries. The State of the Arts survey recently confirmed this.

Nearly 94% of respondents to Waikato’s survey said they were affected by the latest Covid-19 epidemic and subsequent lockdowns. Most respondents indicated that their creativity was affected for between two and one year.

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Waikato creatives also had to worry about money. Respondents are more inclined to “pessimism”, when asked to rate financial status. The scale was from 1 to 6, with 6 being very optimistic and 1 being very pessimistic. The average weighting was 3.1.

Respondents were asked what they consider most important in the face ongoing Covid-19 disruption. 92% answered that sector guidelines are needed to operate at different alert levels. 91% answered strengthening community arts activities, 90% answered mental health support, and 90% said emergency relief funding during alert level 4 and 3.

Dovetail, an independent New Zealand research company, conducted the most recent survey. It aims to measure trends over time and allow for more effective sector advocacy on behalf individuals and organisations.

Creative Waikato collaborated in the research with Toi o Taraika Arts Wellington. This was made possible with the support of Wellington City Council, Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi and Manat Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

The next State of the Arts survey is scheduled for early next year.

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