Artists’ Livelihoods: A comprehensive study of how artists in England live and work

Arts Council England has commissioned a new national study, to find out directly from visual artists in England about the economic, social and cultural factors which affect their ability to develop a sustainable practice. 

This is the first comprehensive study in over a decade of how visual artists in England live and work.  The project aims to listen to and document the realities of practicing as a visual artist, as well as providing an opportunity to inform future initiatives.  The findings will help to focus support where it is most needed to ensure a resilient and diverse visual arts sector.

Independent research company TBR, working with a-n The Artists Information Company and James Doeser, have been commissioned to deliver the project. A broad range of partners are contributing to and invested in the project, including:

Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art, AIR, Artists’ Union England, Artquest, Axisweb, Crafts Council, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, The Design and Artists Copyright Society,engage, East Street Arts, Live Art Development Agency, National Federation of Artists’ Studios Providers, The National Society for Education in Art & Design,Space and Voluntary Arts Network.

As part of the study, a survey will be launched on Monday 22 February.  As many visual artists as possible will be encouraged to take part to ensure the data is robust.  The survey can be found here - the deadline for responses is Friday 25 March 2016.

The project will draw on existing research and datasets, input from sector stakeholders, as well as conducting focus groups and case studies. It is due to be completed in spring 2016.  The findings will be published later in the year.