What are the impacts of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sector? And what kind of change do we want to see?

This independent, peer-led study will identify the immediate, medium and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the various parts of the creative and cultural sector.

A combination of data collation from surveys, formal interviews with sector leader and personal stories from the sector workforces and organisations will enable us to build a rich and detailed picture of the effects of the pandemic and the resilience of the sector.

The objectives of the study are to: 

1. Identify the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted upon the workforce and organisations in the creative and cultural sectors

2. Identify how different workers and organisations in the creative and cultural sectors have responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19

3. Identify the resilience and approaches to resilience planning developed by different sectors across the creative and cultural sectors


1. To identify and share case studies and examples of different responses to the challenges of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown

2. To promote national awareness of the particular challenges faced in the creative and cultural sectors and how individuals and organisations have responded to the pandemic, lockdown and beyond

3. To formulate an evidence-based set of recommendations for Government, key decisionmakers and sector leaders in order to mitigate future risks and re-imagine ways in which the sector might flourish in the future

Proposed outputs:

1. Reports on the impact and responses to COVID-19 across different creative and cultural sectors

2. A project website including blogs by thought leaders, gallery of creative responses to Covid-19 and links to free to download toolkits and resources

3. Recommendations to Government, decisionmakers and sector leaders

The initial study will be broad in scope and offer a “starter for ten” on how the pandemic has impacted the sectors and make some initial recommendations on where we go from here. A series of smaller, more focussed studies may emanate from these initial findings, depending on the results of a scoping exercise.


Over a number of months, and with the support of a professional research team, an Advisory Committee will oversee and/or lead on the delivery of the following suggested workstreams:

  • roundtables to better understand the impacts of the pandemic on key sectors

  • wide-ranging literature review of existing reports and research (e.g. to DDCMS Select Committee submissions, CIF study)

  • harmonisation of multiple survey data sources (e.g. from BECTU, PEC list of surveys, RCM)

  • assessment of economic data (via Government departments)

  • series of one-to-one qualitative interviews with thought leaders and alternative voices

  • series of workshops to reimagine the future of our sector

Themes we anticipate these workstreams will touch upon:

  • Future of the workforce 

  • Crisis management and sector resilience

  • Relationship between government, local authorities and civil society

  • Leadership including collaborative initiatives

  • Governance structures, transparency and decision making

  • Investment, funding and operating models

  • Copyright and intellectual property

  • Creative responses and innovation

  • Consumer/audience confidence

  • Arts for health and wellbeing

  • Creative and cultural education and life-long learning

  • Supporting the next generation of artists - Higher Education, training and beyond

  • Access and diversity

  • A greener, cleaner sector

  • Regional disparities and responses

  • Differentiated experiences in rural and urban areas

  • A gender perspective

An Advisory Committee made up of independent sector workers, supported by leading academics and policy experts is being established; you can find out more about it here.

We are actively looking for collaborators to support the work of this study and welcome contact from anyone wishing to be involved.

In the meantime, we have put together a live crowdsourced handbook for organisations and individuals, started a gallery of creative responses to COVD-19 and will be blogging about progress over the coming months.



We are collecting inspiring creative responses to the Coronavirus crisis. Please do send us any work you'd like to share on our website to:

Photo on iPhone by Waleadebisi.jpg
Image by Dhaya Eddine Bentaleb.jpg
Image by Daniel Tafjord.jpg
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Stories underpin the success of our world-class creative and cultural sector.

Perhaps more than ever before, we must tell our stories and build up a real-world picture of how COVID-19 is really affecting our lives. Whether you are an organisation or an individual who is worrying what might happen next, we can collectively strengthen our resilience by recognising that each of us is an expert in our own lives and we all have wisdom to pass on.

As decision-makers and industry representatives gather to deal with the immediate crisis, we should share our stories with them and make absolutely sure they are taken into account. Whatever short term solutions are brought forward, and wherever we go next in tackling the systemic problems this crisis has only served to highlight, we must insist these stories are not forgotten.

So put the kettle on - and tell us your story:



We know that many colleagues will be struggling at the moment.

We have put together a live crowdsourced googledoc of resources and toolkits relevant to workers and organisations in the creative and cultural industries. This includes but is not limited to: tips on how to self-isolate, creative support groups, online forums, emergency funding sources, making the best of working from home and dealing with child care.

Please edit the document with all your favourite links, YouTube videos and online resources that may be of help to fellow colleagues.

Thank you!



If you would like to make contact with us, please send us an email or use the form to the right. We are keen to hear from all parts of the sector who might want to collaborate on this report, contribute to a our upcoming blog or feedback on any aspects of the project thus far.

Press and media enquiries welcome via email.

+44 (0)75380 27526


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