State of the Arts


In late March of 2020, Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi commissioned Dovetail, an Auckland-based research and evaluation company, to undertake a survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Auckland’s creative sector. The survey was distributed via email and social media networks over the first two weeks of April 2020. We had 332 responses, with the responses revealing both the immediate impacts of the crisis, and the underlying fragility of the arts sector.

In terms of the immediate impacts, more than 80% of respondents said that they had cancelled an event or service due to COVID-19 containment measures. This meant sharp reductions in individual and organisational incomes.  Added to this is uncertainty about when individuals and organisations involved in the arts will again be able to use established platforms to connect with their audiences.  The survey revealed that the sector was making use of the support provided through Government, as well as actively working to find innovative ways to connect with audiences and patrons.

The findings are a call to action to address the medium to long-term health of the arts sector.  Only 39% of respondents were confident that they would still be working in the creative sector in six months’ time.  Actions suggested to address this uncertainty and ensure that the arts sector recovers from the COVID-19 crisis include addressing medium to long-term financial support; supporting in-sector collaboration; the creation of new spaces and platforms to showcase, share and monetise; capacity building and nourishing local sector and content.


From the Tāmaki Makaurau State of the Arts Survey May 2020