Issue Brief: The Pandemic’s Impact on Artists and Creative Workers in Illinois: Exploring Lived Experiences in the Urbana Champaign Area

Research has shown how the pandemic has affected the U.S. creative sector's economy, changing employment and public engagement patterns on creative businesses and organizations with a particular focus on the bigger cities that concentrate this industry. However, despite the socio-economic significance of the creative sector, an in-depth look into the impacts of the pandemic on artists' and creative workers' lived experiences from a qualitative perspective remains relatively scarce.

This issue brief draws on qualitative methodology combining different methods, such as semi-structured interviews, archival research, press and social media analysis, and photographs collected from the artistic and cultural community of the Champaign Urbana Metropolitan area dating from 2020 to 2021, in addition to interviews conducted during 2022 and 2023.

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