Saturday, September 27, 2008

Update: Arts Survey

Well, as of this morning, 60 people have participated in the survey in the first day. Not bad at all. They seem to be from a wide spectrum of disciplines and all have completed the entire survey - well, there are only 10 questions so its not too hard really.

The most shocking thing for me are the stories that people are sharing in the comment section. I was not sure what to expect from this section but what has resulted has been mind blowing. The survey really has two components, a data section where I can quantify the financial scope of participants and story-telling section, which as artists is our forte and can be much more visceral than cold data. The stories have been stirring and powerful and are covering areas that we don't often discuss as artists. We have all been a part of conversations where we complain about lack of funding or the lack of work or rent being due but that is where it stops most of the time.

The Stories being tendered to the survey include both philosophy and hardships but the most common aspect is a commitment to produce art and continue to comment on society despite financial hardships.

I am not quite sure what I have here yet but I feel an undercurrent of something powerful.

Guillermo Verdecchia sent me the following stats that have been produced by the research unit of the Canada Council for the Arts. Thanks Guillermo . I also have just found which is a arts advocate website. This link has information on economic impact studies of the arts.
1. . Federal Government investment in arts and culture: $3.4 billion (0.7% of total government spending)

2. The three levels of Government investment in arts and culture: $7.4 billion

3. Number of people employed in the arts and cultural sector?
598,000 (3.9% of Canada’s total labour force).

4. The cultural sector within Canada’s economy?
Contributes close to $40 billion (3.8%) to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

5. Number of artists in Canada? 131,000

6. Average income of an artist? $23,500 per year

Sources: Statistics Canada;
Canada Council for the Arts.
Research Unit
The Canada Council for the Arts
November 2005

CAEA also has stats on member employment, which, as you know, ain't pretty. And here's a good article on the theme:

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