The Irish Arts council ran a survey on April 3-13 2020 to check in on artists and the impact the pandemic was having on their practice, earnings and career opportunities. We were alarmed that there was no question wondering about the impact increased care responsibilities (home schooling and no child care services) was having on artists time, mental health and practice. The Mothership decided to run this survey to make visible what the effect of increased care labour was having on parenting artists. We are delighted to share it here with you and feel that it is now as relevant as ever as we are in our third lockdown.
As we went into lockdown on March 7th 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic, all parents felt the burden of home schooling and pressure on their time in different ways. The Mothership Project, a network of parenting artists in Ireland, ran a survey to check in on artist parents to find out what the specific pressures were during lockdown.
The Mothership Project’ s survey makes visible the particular needs and experiences of parenting artists during this time. We wanted to understand the knock on effect in the arts for those with children when it is more challenging to make work and to apply for funding. Equally, if artists are earning less and cannot afford childcare, this has implications on their ability to make art and again to apply for funding to give them time for their practice.
Question 10 was an open question: “Is there anything else you would like to tell us about being a parenting artist at this time e.g. have there been any benefits, how is your mental health, what might help in this time, etc?” Thanks to Dr Helen Kara for helping us collate the findings on this question.