Artists begin starving again

Artists in survival mode as market crumbles: As galleries cut back and sales plummet, many artists are struggling to scrape by with odd jobs.
By Matthew Shaer, Christian Science Monitor March 13, 2009

“Last week, the National Endowment for the Arts released research showing that artists are now unemployed at about twice the rate of other professional workers. Approximately 129,000 artists were out of work nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the report – up 63 percent from the same period in 2007. The NEA estimated that the figures might have been worse had thousands of artists not left the workforce due to retirement, a desire to pursue outside opportunities, or general discouragement. And the forecast for the next few years is no brighter. Sunin Iyengar, the director of research and analysis at the NEA, said unemployment was a ‘lagging economic indicator,’ and that the figures can still rise even months or years after a general economic recovery. Artist unemployment, for instance, did not reach its zenith until two years after the 2001 recession, when the markets had regained their strength.”



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