Culture and the pandemic: what was the impact of the crisis on the creative industries?

长沙市媒体艺术发展中心 | 12 15, 2021

The unprecedented outbreak of the pandemic around the world hit hard the cultural and creative sector, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, where at least 2.6 million jobs were affected as a result of the restrictions adopted by the countries, according to data from the project Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on cultural and creative industries. A joint initiative of MERCOSUR, UNESCO, IDB, SEGIB and OEI. This study will be launched next Thursday 16 December at 12:00 pm -Uruguay/Argentina/Chile (tune in here). The publication compiles the initial effects at macro and microeconomic level on the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) due to the restrictions of the pandemic.

Social distancing measures related to confinement affected especially the cultural and creative industries, impacting their entire value chain, and weakening even further the situation of culture professionals, notably workers of micro, small and medium size businesses, as well as artists and freelancers, many of whom work informally. This project also managed to bring together national institutions and international cooperation organizations to systematize cultural data and statistics at regional level, rendering visible an alarming scenario.

Half of the professionals and businesses that took part in the regional survey of this project estimated a loss on income/sells of more than 80%. The activities related to Heritage, Performing Arts, Training and Music were the most affected, with drops in the generation of Gross Added Value of more than 20%. At least 71.817 ICC facilities were affected by the pandemic: among them, 21.928 libraries, 11,304 cultural centres, 7,516 museums and 6,908 theatres closed during 2020.

The study aims at overcoming a latent weakness in MERCOSUR countries to generate valid and updated statistics on the cultural economy through designing cultural indicators to support public policies on culture, producing regional cultural cartography; sharing public policies implemented by cultural institutions of member states; and disseminating studies and research.

The current situation requires that Member States count on precise estimations of the magnitude of the phenomenon to design effective policies of response and recovery for the cultural sector. In this regard, this publication can contribute to promote a common analysis of the sector through the generation of comparative regional data and estimate the impact of the pandemic on cultural goods and services within the countries.

This initiative was supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Government of Canada, the Principality of Monaco, ANA Holdings INC., the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Slovak Republic, and the Republic of Serbia.
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