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How A Pandemic Revealed The Arts’ Financial Fragility

By Israa Abdallah

Many people have discussed the impact of the COVID crisis on various industries and aspects of life, but the art industry has received little attention.  As a result, we overlooked what is behind art in terms of industry and workers as COVID negatively impacted art production. The cinema industry ceased during the lockdown period and cinemas, theatrical performances, concerts, and art exhibitions all had to close due to precautionary measures.

International cinemas have lost approximately 65 percent of their revenues in 2020, threatening small and medium-sized theaters with bankruptcy or complete closure. To compensate for the losses caused by the Coronavirus precautions, the expansion of drive-in cinemas was used in some countries. 

Technology & the Arts

The rising trend of using technology was the best alternative for live performances. So, several musicians announced musical performances and concerts online via live broadcasts through various technological applications and they sent invitations to invite people to watch their online concerts. As a result, they benefited from digital platforms and generated revenues via social media.

Production companies were able to reach agreements with digital platforms to show films and artistic performances to compensate for losses and make it easier for people to watch whatever they wanted while staying at home.

The pandemic has revealed the instability of the financial state of the gifted coupled with the possibility of being destroyed. It has stressed on the necessity of providing support for them and protecting them against similar shocks.

The Power of Unions

It is important to remember that the art industry goes beyond prominent names and celebrities, but rather deals with several professions, such as carpentry, blacksmithing, clothing making, accessories, paints, and many more. Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, many people were laid off, particularly from museums and art galleries. A large number of films and art projects were postponed, affecting hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide.



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