Analytical Report: COVID-19: Impact Survey on the Arts Residency Field

Analytical Report: COVID-19: Impact Survey on the Arts Residency Field

Res Artis and UCL have released an analytical report of a survey examining the impact of COVID-19 on the international arts residencies field. The survey conducted between 7 May and 1 June 2020 received 1,132 responses from 774 artists and 358 arts organisations around the globe. This first survey investigated the pandemic’s immediate effect on in-progress and planned arts residencies, while two further surveys to follow will explore the medium and long-term impact. The report highlights some of the key findings of the first survey, and proposes approaches for the second iteration, to be conducted in November 2020 to assess medium-term impact. A third and final survey will follow to examine the ongoing effect of COVID-19 on the international arts residencies landscape.

The primary aim of this survey series is to articulate the challenges and opportunities for the sector during this difficult time. Ultimately, the hope is that the collaboration, hard data and analysis will lead to positive change by providing information, support and key policy recommendations for artists, arts residency operators, funders and key sector stakeholders. 


Most artist respondents (over 80%) were from the visual arts sector, though other sectors, including dance, music, live arts, literature, craft, media, architecture, and education were represented. About 43% of artist respondents consider their practice to be “interdisciplinary” or “multidisciplinary.” With regards to career stage, 36% of respondents are “emerging,” 41% are “midcareer,” and 23% are “established” artists. Arts organisation respondents were primarily not-for-profit and artist-run organisations. 

The pandemic has had a significant effect on planned residencies. Artist and arts organisation responses reveal that more than half (54%) of planned residencies have been modified, cut short, or postponed due to COVID-19, including about 20% that 5 have been cancelled. This is true for residencies at both the national and international levels. For emerging artists, who are most likely to have participated in fewer than five residencies, 40% of national residencies and 47% of international residencies were cancelled, cut short, or postponed. These numbers were slightly higher for mid-career and established artists, with 42% of national and 57% of international residencies cancelled, cut short, or postponed. 

You can read the full report here.