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Challenges and opportunities experienced by performing artists during COVID-19 lockdown: Scoping review

Publication date: 

7 Jun 2022


Social Sciences & Humanities Open Volume 6, Issue 1, 2022, 100297


Brooks SK and Patel SS

Publication type: 



Abstract This scoping review synthesises published literature on the experiences of professional and amateur performing artists during COVID-19 and their perceptions of the challenges and opportunities faced. Six electronic databases were searched for published English-language articles containing primary data on this topic; twenty-one studies were reviewed. Themes included loss of work, financial impact, concerns about the future, psychological wellbeing, social connections, continuing creative pursuits, and inequalities. Participants reported both detrimental psychological effects of lockdown such as anxiety and sleep problems and positive effects including reduced stress and enjoyment of having more free time. Most continued creative pursuits throughout lockdown, most commonly shifting to online platforms. However, many barriers to creative pursuits were reported, including lack of technological expertise or equipment. Concerns were raised about inequality, in particular racial disparities in the financial impact of the pandemic and additional pressures faced by performers with disabilities; with insufficient funds to afford the equipment needed to shift to remote performing; and with additional caring responsibilities. It is important that performing artists have access to peer support; that education on digital technologies is incorporated into future performing arts education; and that inequities are addressed to ensure the needs of diverse communities are met.