The worlds of art and culture have been one of the hardest hit sectors through the pandemic.
They have been sorely missed by audiences and were propped up by a £1.3 billion cash injection from central government.
But as well as the outpouring of love for the sector which has shown again how important art and culture are to society at large, the pandemic has exposed a deeper issue with the longer term sustainability of the sector.
Offering low paid, freelance work with long hours and limited stability in a sector which relies heavily on public subsidy, there has been an exodus from the sector during the pandemic as people look for more solid work, and without paying audeinces the business model for the cultural sector looks shakier than ever.
Some have suggested that the pandemic will be a turning point – the rise in digital creating a new revenue stream and pent up demand from audiences and artists leading to a creative explosion in the coming years. Others see the future more bleakly – a few giant organisations sucking up all the talent and money and the supply chain falling away as financial support and models change.
Painter George Braque said “Art is a wound turned into light”, but is the future of the cultural industry bright, or is that light dimming?