Arts Hub, Richard Watts
6 Dec 2022
Theatre Network Australia’s 2022 report This Is How We Do It, based on responses from 297 people across the country, shows that 19% of respondents are exiting the arts industry altogether, while 32% are undertaking a partial or related career change.
The report also reveals that indie artists are spending less time working on their practice, more indies are working in jobs outside their practice and more of these jobs are in sectors outside of the arts.
Describing the survey results as ‘harrowing and quite confronting,’ Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez, TNA’s Manager (Sector Development and Membership) suggests the obvious cause of such findings are the disruptions and closures caused by COVID over the last three years.
‘The trend of working less in your practice because of having to work more in other paying jobs, jobs that may be outside the arts – that’s very recent. Because if you look at [previous iterations of] the report in 2018 and 2020, there was actually a trend of indies working on average on more projects per year. So I think this downward trend has only really come about because of COVID,’ she tells ArtsHub.
Ng-Rodriguez notes that while some of the survey’s findings are certainly concerning, the report can also be used to help independent practitioners negotiate fees and contracts with employers.
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