The Ohio State University has been approved for a $30,000 Research Grants in the Arts award to support “Measuring & Reporting Artists’ Challenges & Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Interview Study.” This project will build off Dr. Rachel Skaggs’ research interviewing artists to understand how the pandemic has affected their creative and working lives. The first stage of this research was funded by The Ohio State University Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from The Ohio State University, one of only 18 Research Grants in the Arts projects funded in this fiscal year,” said Director of Research & Analysis Sunil Iyengar. “As demonstrated by Ohio State’s project and the other 17 awardees, the arts can be a source of resilience, well-being, social connectedness, and experiential learning. These skills and attributes have become increasingly sought-after in our challenging times.”
Dr. Skaggs describes this research as necessary for informing policy and a continuing national response to the pandemic. She says, “Jobs in the arts are already precarious, and the pandemic has greatly impacted the arts sector. Many artists immediately lost work during the pandemic because of closed venues and cancelled events. On the other hand, artists are innovators, and many artists have used this time to adjust and experiment in their artistic practice.” Reporting from the initial phase of this research has already been used to inform understanding of how the arts and culture field has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAEP Interim Chair Dr. Shari Savage is excited to see how Rachel’s work will impact artists and careers in the arts. Dr. Skaggs’ research shows the promise of a department with interdisciplinary research interests and expertise, blending scholarly research with training our graduate students. The research activities of this grant will culminate in the 2023 Barnett Symposium and will focus on the topic of the impact of the pandemic on artists and the arts. Individuals interested in the Barnett Symposium or in participating in this research, as an interviewee or in a collaborative capacity should contact Dr. Skaggs via email.