Artists believe in the future – optimism created by a strong belief in their own work, artistry and ability to influence their own future as artists

News   28.3.2022  

According to the latest Arts and Culture Barometer, artists have an optimistic view of the future, but concerns about their livelihoods and ability to cope are undermining their wellbeing.

Altogether 1056 professional artists responded to the Arts and Culture Barometer, which has just been published. The purpose of the barometer is to annually monitor and highlight the views of artists regarding current issues and phenomena. The 2021 barometer examined the theme of artists in the future.

A clear majority of the artists who responded to the barometer were optimistic about their future as artists. The majority of respondents felt that they were able to influence their own future as artists. The artists were also concerned about the future of society as a whole and hoped that in the future their professional skills would be more widely utilised in society.

Despite the strong belief in the future among artists, their responses also revealed concerns for their own ability to cope as artists, both in their current and future working lives. Uncertainty regarding work and earnings opportunities is a particular cause of stress, while the future is also overshadowed by wider threats such as climate change and the changes and inequalities brought about by digitalisation. The pressure to succeed is felt especially among young artists and artists in the early or middle stages of their careers.

The 2021 barometer was conducted at a historically exceptional time during the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is reflected in the responses in how artists are experiencing uncertainty and how they feel there is a lack of appreciation for the work of artists. However, the responses also indicate more clearly than in previous years that artists consider their work a profession and trade alongside other professions and trades. The change may be a consequence of how the corona crisis has raised discussions in the public debate about art as a profession and trade.

Nearly all other factors defining artistry received significantly more support from respondents than in previous years. This could be seen as a weak signal of the growing importance of artistry compared to the period before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arts and Culture Barometer 2021: Artists in the Future

Download the report in PDF format on the Cupore website (in Finnish):

Ruusuvirta, Minna, Lahtinen, Emmi, Rensujeff, Kaija, Kurlin Niiniaho, Ari: Arts and Culture Barometer 2021: Artists in the Future. Cupore’s web publications 69. Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (Cupore) and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike).

Further information:
Minna Ruusuvirta, Senior Researcher, Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (Cupore),, t. +358 50 326 8014

Emmi Lahtinen, Researcher, Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (Cupore),, t. +358 050 556 0414

Kaija Rensujeff, Special Advisor, Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike),, t. +358 295 330 721

Photo: Efe Kurnaz/ Unsplash