Visual Arts: The Beating Heart and Soul of Building Back Better

December 22, 2020

CVAN, APDIG and a-n are delighted to launch their latest report, produced in collaboration with Contemporary Visual Arts NetworkVisual Arts: The Beating Heart and Soul of Building Back Better calls for Government to exploit the potential of the Visual Arts sector to grow the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic, through explicit growth targets and rolling over existing tax incentives.

The first lockdown and social distancing measures introduced in response to Covid-19 have had a detrimental impact on the creative industries, with a projected £74bn turnover loss over the course of 2020. COVID is also expected to be responsible for 406,000 job losses for the sector – of which over two thirds to be self-employed.

In July, the Government announced a support package of £1.75bn for the creative industries which, while hugely beneficial in the short-term, is not sufficient on its own, and more direct support must be shown to the Visual Arts in order for the sector to survive. This report lays out five key recommendations to support the industry as we begin to move back into a tiered system following a second lockdown.

Looking beyond Covid-19 to the medium-term, if the visual arts are to contribute more to tackling loss of employment, social disparities and inequality, and to continue to provide, as the Culture Secretary said in July, the “soul of our nation”, policy changes are needed. This report sets out recommendations to build back the sector and deliver the vision of a more resilient, innovative visual arts sector, properly supported so as no longer to be the forgotten sector, and with stronger leadership links with government.

Text provided by Jack Tindale Policy Connect.

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