Creative Community Survey: Preliminary Data

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You may remember the DeKalb Entertainment Commission worked with C4 Atlanta to push out the Creative Community Survey.  We greatly appreciate your help in pushing the survey out to all of your industry partners.   We have the results back in a huge excel spreadsheet with over 1K respondents and their comments.  Here is some preliminary data:

  • We asked artists to identify within a range of income lost, therefore the averages lost are based on those ranges,
  • 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 amount 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
  • about 66% women, 32% men, 2% nonbinary
  • 62% white, 23% black, remaining 15% asian, latino, and other races or declined to answer
  • From all sorts of disciplines: 28% theatre or acting, 23% film, 14% visual, 12% music, rest from dance, craft, literary and others
  • 50% get most or all of their income from their arts practice. 65% get at least half.
  • What has been lost to date (based on when they completed the survey in the last three weeks)
  • 2/3rds have lost 3 or more paying gigs; 1/3 have lost 6 or more
  • 75% have lost more than $1000 so far;  40% have lost more than $5000 so far. (some have 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, 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.
  • 64% report that their creative output has decreased. (17% has gone up! Shakespeare wrote King Lear on quarantine from the plague. If you thought that would be universally true, I point you to the recent Onion headline: Man Not Sure Why He Thought Most Psychologically Taxing Situation of Life Would Be Thing to Make Him Productive)
  • 44% reported that their mental health was impacted.
  • What do they need?
  • Salary and wages – either gigs, if feasible, or replacement (63%)
  • Mortgage or rent relief (40%)
  • Communication tools/resources (19%)

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission are now working with ARC on analyzing the data and doing a final summary for our partners to internalize and develop their own list of data points that can be used for advocacy and/or exposure of critical needs.  The final analysis will include a demographic summary of all survey participants, a quick look at Emergency Relief Funding and who is/isn’t applying for it split up by demographics, and a comparison of Gigs and Income losses (also split up by demographics).  We have also asked ARC for a comparison of gigs lost by industry type, income lost by industry type, income lost by race, and total respondents by race.  We asked them to make the visuals pretty too!

Lastly, we want to compare the results against similar surveys, including the Athens Clarke County survey released last week.  There may be other surveys with similar data points we can pull for comparison as well, such as industries hit hardest by COVID-19 https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-industries-hit-hardest-by-the-unemployment-crisis/.  Toward that end, our intention will be to share the final data analysis with all of the partners that helped us push out the survey, ask them for any feedback, concerns, ideas for advocacy, and recommendations for future survey questions.  The data can be used by all partners to focus our advocacy efforts to champion the immediate needs of our creative community.

Your thoughts or concerns are welcome and as always I appreciate your support. Shelbia Jackson

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