Artists have been left in “real hardship” by the closure of venues during coronavirus outbreak, the Arts Council of Wales has warned.
Chief executive Nick Capaldi warned the arts at “all levels, types and scale” had been hit by lockdown.
“Hundreds” have applied to the organisation for emergency funding.
“The arts will be badly affected for the simple reason they’re likely, in a lot of instances, to be the last out of lockdown”, said Mr Capaldi.
“Performing arts venues are going to be particularly difficult to populate in the social distancing world – how quickly are people going to want to come back and be part of a large crowd?”
He said the arts council was expecting between 400 and 500 applications for assistance from a £7m emergency fund for artists and non-profit arts organisations set up in response to coronavirus.
One who considered applying was choreographer and dance artist, Jack Philp.
He said the lockdown cut his income in half.
Teaching dance classes on Zoom helps but does not make up his regular work hours.
“It’s a drastic shift,” he said.
Porthcawl playwright, Jon Berry, was to take his play, “Bear”, to the now-cancelled Edinburgh Fringe in August.
“We put all the money and all the effort in really early, and then everything got pulled out from underneath us,” he said.
The play is still being rehearsed on Zoom meetings, but not knowing how it can go ahead is difficult.
“People have come together to make it happen and now we have absolutely no way of giving it the life we wanted,” he said.
Mr Berry considered taking the work online, but feared it would not be the same.
“There’s a kind of distancing that happens with the screen,” he said.
National Dance Company Wales’ learning and participation producer, Guy O’Donnell, said lockdown had helped artists learn new ways of going digital.
He runs social enterprise called Get the Chance, which enables arts graduates to exhibit online.
“Because of the pandemic they’d lost their opportunities to have an exhibition or a final end-of-year performance,” he said.
“A lot of these are events where they could gain employment.
“Agents might go and see them perform in their end-of-year show or employers might go and see their exhibitions or showcases.”
Mr O’Donnell said thinking of new ways to show online could benefit the arts.
“We need to retain some of the knowledge we’ve currently built in terms of using new technology,” he said.
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