In this introduction, we outline the context for the international emergence of cultural policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our article first offers a general account of how arts and culture have been affected by the pandemic, before looking at some of the state interventions (bailouts’) to support the professional sector, and the present and future conditions they might be seeking to preserve or occasion. We then examine the UK as a particular case study. In rejecting a politics of “bailout” and “return”, and in synchrony with others seeking to situate culture in a re-vitalised political economy, we argue that professional arts and culture needs to move forward with a “new deal” in hand; one that can enhance culture’s potential and multipart value, as well as help the sector progressively engage with the many social, economic and environmental challenges ahead and beyond C-19.


Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) (offered on Taylor & Francis full Open journals, and Taylor & Francis hybrid Open Select journals when publishing Gold OA).

Cite as

Banks, M. & O'Connor, J. 2020, ''A plague upon your howling': art and culture in the viral emergency', Cultural Trends, 30(1), pp. 3-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2020.1827931

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 17 June 2022
Was this page helpful?