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Over Half Of Artists Earn Less Than $25K A Year, Reveals Survey

A recent survey has revealed the dire conditions of artists in New York state, including that 57 percent earn less than $25,000 a year.

The survey was conducted by Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY), an organization that lobbies for the rights of artists and offers guaranteed employment to artists in New York. The survey, which happened between March and May 2022, collected responses from over 13,300 respondents. As per Sarah Calderon (director, CRNY), the ‘Portrait of New York State Artists’ was conducted in response to a lack of information on artists in the state, despite the art sector contributing to 7.4 percent of the state’s GDP.

More than three-fourths of the respondents resided in New York City. 42.4 percent fell under the age group of 24 to 34 years. White artists constituted 37.9 percent, while 29.5 percent were Black/African Americans. Almost half (42.4 percent) of the artists identified as LGBT+, be it gay, lesbian, asexual, transgender, or queer. 24.1 percent of the artists fell under the visual arts medium, followed by music (21.9 percent) and theatre (8.5 percent).

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The biggest insight from the survey was into the financial situation of the artists. 56 percent of the artists revealed their annual income to be $25,000 or less. 40 percent of artists described their financial situation as dire, while 60 percent admitted that they do not have the savings to foot a sudden $400 expense. The last point was even worse for Black artists, with 78 percent of them admitting the same.