The Social Situation of Artists in Austria 2018

Commissioned by the Austrian Federal Chancellery, Arts and Culture Division

Authors: Petra Wetzel, Lisa Danzer (L&R Sozialforschung)
Veronika Ratzenböck, Anja Lungstraß, Günther Landsteiner (österreichische kulturdokumentation)

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Data on the living and working conditions of artists were last collected in 2008. Now, ten years later, the results of current research suggest that the socio-economic situation of artists is still characterized by precarious, short-term and less continuous employment conditions, uncertain income opportunities and low social security. Artists' work is marked by irregular working careers, difficult planning and hybride forms of employment. The drifting apart of artistic and economic success and the discontinuity of work are thus perennial issues linked with the reality of artists' work and life.

The core of the report is an update of the 2008 survey in order to obtain information about employment, income and social security, the use of public grants, on issues concerning education and training, mobility and networking as well as on aspects of personal living conditions. The survey's target group were artists in the fields of visual arts, performing arts, music, literature and film and - for the first time - cultural educators. The survey was carried out by means of an online-questionnaire; in total 1,757 valid questionnaires were included in the analysis. The survey is complemented by an analysis of expert literature, secondary data and a description of the development over the last ten years.

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