TICAH surveyed artists in 2020 to better understand how the landscape for artists has changed during the pandemic and how artists have adapted. This is the report of our findings.
The Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) has been working with artists to share beauty and stories and for artists to connect across age sets, practices and genders to create and learn from one another. When the pandemic arrived in 2020 it disrupted the practices and economics across the world, including with Kenyan artists. Through online and social distanced projects, TICAH kept up with many Kenyan artists and listened to the changes taking place in their lives. The work TICAH built with its community of artists coalesced into the theme of resilience: resilience of the arts community, of the individual, of the family, of the mind, of the art itself. Together we explored resilience in a number of ways: through an installation of work created by 46 artists that toured Nairobi; through public art events and public art creation; through explorations of mental health; through artistic experimentations between age sets, and through discussions about the future of the arts sector with this survey and research. The aim of this research was to better understand how the landscape for artists has changed during the pandemic and how artists have adapted in order to learn how best art enthusiasts, arts organizations and government can support the sector to survive and thrive.