Art World Nearly Two-Thirds of Artists in the United States Have Lost Their Livelihoods as a Result

Unemployment by Josh Kline

An artwork titled Unemployment by Josh Kline at the Frieze Art Fair in London in October 2018. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images.

Ninety-five percent of artists in the US have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new study suggests—and nearly two-thirds have become unemployed altogether.

The study, which taps into responses from more than 15,000 artists and creative workers, paints a bleak portrait of creative life in the US in the weeks following the arrival of the epidemic. The survey was organized by Americans for the Arts in conjunction with Artist Relief, a coalition of seven grant-making nonprofits formed in response to the crisis.

On average, respondents to the survey have lost $24,000 in wages because of the pandemic, while four-fifths of those surveyed have no plan for how to recover financially.