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The invisible architecture of creative and cultural work: the relationship between miscategorisation and sector wellbeing during COVID-19


Williams, K and Lester, E and Seivwright, A, The invisible architecture of creative and cultural work: the relationship between miscategorisation and sector wellbeing during COVID-19, Creative Industries Journal pp. 1-19. ISSN 1751-0694 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2022 Informa UK limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an original manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Creative Industries Journal on 05/08/2022, available at:

DOI: doi:10.1080/17510694.2022.2106091


Tasmania, Australia’s southern island state, is known nationally and increasingly internationally for its arts and cultural sector. As is common elsewhere, the extent and nature of the sector has been poorly measured and documented, with its value remaining relatively opaque within a policy making framework. With the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, serious consequences of this poor categorisation and articulation of the sector’s value emerged, with many creative and cultural workers missing out on crucial financial and other support. This article presents the findings of a study of the impacts of COVID-19 on Tasmania’s cultural and creative sector, including on financial sustainability, health and wellbeing, and future work. Using a combination of survey data and interviews, we problematise the reliance on workforce categories when describing the economic understanding and measurement of the sector, and instead provide an analysis of the sector through an approach based on self-describing work, work identities and perceived contributions. We find that those who were financially supported during the pandemic were able to shift or adapt their creative practice and had a higher sense of health and wellbeing, whereas those who did not receive government or philanthropic funding experienced significant negative impacts on their health and creative practice. These findings reinforce the urgency of embedding new methods for describing and valuing the sector for policy makers, and in turn, the sector’s participants.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:COVID-19, pandemic, workforce, Tasmania, data, sector recovery, government funding, arts, creative and cultural industries
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural studies
Research Field:Arts and cultural policy
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Arts not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Williams, K (Dr Kathleen Williams)
UTAS Author:Lester, E (Professor Libby Lester)
UTAS Author:Seivwright, A (Dr Ami Seivwright)
ID Code:151157
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:CALE Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-07-22
Last Modified:2023-03-06
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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