FMTW Meeting Minutes 04 March 2022

Chair: Peter M

Minutes: Alistair Cope

Present: Alistair Cope, Paul Carey Jones, Bill Bankes-Jones, Peter McKintosh, Freddie Crossley, Paule Constable, Vicky Mortimer, Athena Stevens, Emma Jayne Park.

Apologies: Josie Underwood, Sunita Hinduja, Nikki Edmonds, Kelsie Acton

Bill and Alistair both have power issues today. Yay for electricity.

Values 1 and 4 were read out loud by PCJ

Our commitment to anti-racism was read out loud by PM.

Anti-racism Inc Arts Unlock Commitments

FMTW Inc Arts Commitments

The group who have been working on the Inc Arts Unlock Commitments have now finished the toolkit. The next step is to work out how we implement the commitments, and this feels like it needs the wider group, so we are going to dedicate half an hour each week to develop our anti-racism policy.

The group acknowledged the amount of heavy lifting Sunita has had to do in this room and her message today. Huge appreciation and love all round.

VM – Sunita mentioned about ‘the second time around’ and we must acknowledge that this is the consequence of the whole group not going through the programme the first time. We must ask, why was this not a priority the first time around?

AC- An update from last week: The anti-racism statement is now on our individual event pages and on the waiting room message.

EJP – Sunita’s message has made me aware of other rooms I am in and I wonder how we can support global majority participants to be in the room perhaps financially. 

VM – This links to the bigger conversation about setting aside some money to help us go through certain processes. 

EJP – D/ecology might be good to reach out to.

AC – We could take the anti-racism work out or the Friday room and commit (again) to working through it in two hour sessions.

PCJ – I understand the reasoning for this but we want this conversation in the Friday meeting so acknowledge the importance of it.

PM – Would the process work better if we came to the Friday meeting knowing which section of the unlock programme we are looking at.

EJ – I like this idea.

PC – We need to remind people what question we have got to each week so people can think about it before we come in the room. Also worth exploring a sort of monthly drop in for freelancers to come along to and explore part of the unlock program.

EJ –  If we did that we have to acknowledge that because we hold some status, we look like we know what we are doing which is very dangerous around subjects like ant-racism. There are groups that have been doing this for years. We have to be cautious about how we hold these spaces.

AC – Should our role not be to continue our internal anti-racism work but also reach out and aprneter with those who are doing this work well and ask them how we can support them and get their amazing work to the freelance community.

EJ- I think we need to use the Inc Arts program to get our own house in order before we start offering any anti-racism offerings externally.

-All agree

Updates & reports: (10.10-10.30)

  • Big Freelancer Survey (JU/AC/PCJ)

Survey launched. Worth noting that ALL entrants so far are based in England. How do we get it out there more?

EJ- Could we organise an open meeting for each region?

PCJ – We had some guidance from DCMS which we decided not to action as it was very much in line with the current ‘leveling up’ agenda. 

AS – We need to talk more about this agenda and what it all means.

PC – The politicisation of arts funding that is happening is shocking. They are purely thinking of the output and not what it means for the industry. ‘Quick fix and quick change’ were phrases used a lot. The arts have been weaponised and it is terrifying.

  • Workshops (JU/KA)

The first three workshops are live and booking being taken. Two more yet to launch

  • Mig Burgess Wellbeing Guidance (AC)

How do we support this? 

EJP –  The lack of depth to the document leads to the potential of more damage being done. The document needs to be backed up with support. There are huge structural issues that need to be addressed. There is a lot of this work going on so we can’t just ‘rubber stamp’ this one document because they came to us.

PC – I think there is another element that I suspect generated this work. Mig works in a backstage discipline. It is not a competition but the ABTT touches areas of the industry that many wellbeing practices don’t reach. I think what Mig has raised has been genuinely surprising to many in the industry.this really is new work for many of them.

EJP – I think that is really helpful to hear. How do we take mistakes made in the past (with casts etc) and make sure those mistakes don’t happen with this new work.

JU – Lets link up with BAPAM and see if they could join up some thinking. 

VM – I like the document. I like that I can take this one pager into a building and say this is something to work from.

EJP – I fear that lots of these building have these documents though and they just sit on a shelf and gather dust. They can be read out at the start of a project but unless it is a living document that is in someway enforced (not the language EJ used -Al) it is just a lovely idea. How can we bridge that gap between whats on paper and how we action it in the space. 

VM – The question is always ‘how do make this meaningful.’ 

Action points (11.15-11.20)

Look into individual nation open meeting for The Big Freelancer Survey

Highlight what each week’s anti-racsim discussion will be

 AOB (11.20-11.30)

State of The Industry

Paule, Bill and Ej to write.

The email to AD’s/EDs/Buildings etc went out this week and is available to read here

Can everyone share the survey via their own networks

The best way to share it is via your own channels and in your own words but you can share our own comms if that is easier. The link to share is this one as it has all the translations on it: