Research Article

The Effect of COVID-19 on Cultural Funding and Policy in Iceland


Data from a recent survey of cultural managers confirms that, as in most other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a hammer blow to the cultural sector in Iceland. The findings show that COVID-19 has had a profound effect on cultural organisations’ operations in terms of cancelling or postponing activities and the reduction of contractors or temporary staff. In response, the government has committed unprecedented sums to supporting the cultural sector. We explore how the pandemic and government support has affected the cultural sector in the context of the dominant values and strong welfare orientation of Icelandic cultural policy, as well as how it measures against international trends.