FREELANCERS MAKE THEATRE WORK MEETING: FRIDAY 05 NOVEMBER

Chair: Peter McKintosh

Minutes: Josie Underwood

Present: Peter McKintosh, Josie Underwood, Alistair Cope, Nikki Edmonds, Paule Carey Jones, Sunita Hinduja, Paule Constable, Kelsie Acton, Emma Jayne Park

Apologies: Bill Bankes-Jones, Hazel Holder

Updates and reports

Fundraising update

JU – Arts Council England have offered a small amount of money for ongoing costs, and have asked that we write a proposal of what this money might fund. We have drafted a document that includes the following propositions; access costs, skills based workshops (e.g. taxes/lobbying/self employment etc), big freelancer survey support, additional member of staff to help with delivery of projects) and have sent over to ACE for review.

New volunteer meetings – Wellbeing offers 

JU – Al and I had a meeting this week with people who have offered wellbeing activities for freelancers. The two offers this week were a one hour, fortnightly yoga session and a monthly/fortnightly ‘reflective practice group’ where freelancers can come along and work through practice-based (freelancer focused) questions or problems with the group.

We also discussed with them the way that FMTW works structurally and the values that we hold. Both of the meetings were great and we felt that both the people we met with held values that align with FMTW, and the offers contrast nicely with each other and our current wellbeing offers.

We have also had people approach us with more general interest to become a volunteer, and felt that we should meet with them to introduce ourselves and the way that FMTW works, and see if they would fit in with the volunteer pool.

PC/PM – could Al and Josie set up these meetings and then invite one more volunteer so that there is a volunteer perspective in the room too?

There is also a document that has been created by Al and Josie (with input from past documents created by the group) that outlines our values, structure and working commitments that will be sent to each new volunteer. 

ACTION POINT

  • Josie to share standards of working doc with the group
  • Al & Josie to set up meetings with interested volunteers, and invite one more FMTW volunteer to join
  • Group to look through FMTW Standards of Working document approve!
  • Al and Josie to respond arrange wellbeing offers

 

ACE Freelancer Symposium

JU – Arts Council want to create a freelancer symposium that will be offered for free/heavily subsidised to freelancers next summer, and are looking for an organisation to deliver the project. They have released a tender for orgs to express their interest: 

Arts council have invited us to apply. Our capacity and resources restrict our ability to lead on the project but we could consider performing a supportive or critical friend role.

PC – Richard from People Make It Work would like to offer to lead on the project, and pay us to deliver a critical friend role. He has mentioned that the project fee is offered at £88,000, and that £80,000 should go to the freelancers involved. Could share BAC/FMTW docs to outline how this relationship worked?

AC – We could pay a ‘point person’ within FMTW who is the lead contact for this project, rather than comms going through Josie and Al.

ACTION POINT

  • Paule to report back to Richard that we would be interested in working with People Make It Work on the ACE Freelancer Symposium
  • Josie to contact EJ re BAC critical friend documents that might outline how this arrangement between BAC and FMTW worked

Inc Arts Anti-racism (Al)

AC – Inc Arts Unlock programme meeting, focus on the reporting process. Feeding back in the experience we have been having throughout the Unlock programme. They were very open to feedback. Amanda Parker presented that Inc Arts are at very early stages of developing a new idea.

ACTION POINT

  • Al to invite Amanda Parker to chat about their new idea

AOB 

SOLT 10 principles

NE – DCMS Creative Industries Federation working group to prevent bullying, harassment discrimination are supporting the development of an Independent Standards Authority, working actively with UK theatre to address the accountability issues with the SOLT 10 principles.

EJ – are there other people we can bring into the conversation to make sure the conversation is fully rounded?

SH – Suggestion: Equity?

ACTION POINT

  • Paule to contact sebastian from UK Theatre to express that we are still interested in being part of this ongoing dialogue

 

Freelancer organisations

AC – It was mentioned in the Inc Arts meetings a number of times that “we should contact the freelance task force,” but it felt like there was no real understanding of which networks and organisations are still working. It felt like lip service because if they are talking about approaching networks that don’t actually exist.

EJ – Is this a newsletter where we clarify what is currently happening and who is there for the freelancers at the moment?

EJ/AC – could this be an ongoing design project that maps the freelancer networks on our website. Issues of accessibility that would need to be considered, but a click through map that lists different organisations and their shared themes?

ACTION POINT

  • Future newsletter about which orgs are currently working for freelancers
  • Potential project to map freelancer organisations

 

COPS26 newsletter?

AC – With the COPS26 happening this week should we use this opportunity to write a newsletter about climate change in the theatre? Green book launched yesterday.

EJ – To reach out to equity working group to ask if they might want to submit something to the newsletter

AC/PC – to reach out to Green Book for contribution

NE – CiTEA can also contribute to the newsletter

  • EJ to reach out to Equity climate change working group, Nikki to grab paragraph from CiTEA, AC/PC to reach out to Green Book/write something for newsletter

 

Round table with ABTT

NE – Well being and Mental Health ABTT guidance note Round table meeting NEXT Monday 10 am. Might have a backstage technical theatre specific angle as it is ABTT, but encouraging all freelancers to come along.

JU – This has been shared with FMTW, but can it be shared with the wider freelance community?

NE – Will ask Mig Burgess.

Nov 8th at 10am

Action points:

  • NE to ask if the ABTT meeting should be shared with the wider freelance community

 

ACTION POINTS RECAP

  • Josie to share standards of working doc with the group (JU)
  • Al & Josie to set up meetings with interested volunteers, and invite one more FMTW volunteer to join (AC/JU)
  • Group to look through FMTW Standards of Working document approve! (ALL)
  • Al and Josie to respond to and arrange wellbeing offers (AC/JU)
  • Paule to report back to Richard that we would be interested in working with People Make It Work on the ACE Freelancer Symposium (PC)
  • Josie to contact EJ re BAC critical friend documents that might outline how this arrangement between BAC and FMTW worked (JU)
  • Al to invite Amanda Parker to chat about their new idea (AC)
  • Paule to contact sebastian from UK Theatre to express that we are still interested in being part of this ongoing dialogue (PC)
  • Future newsletter about which orgs are currently working for freelancers
  • Potential project to map freelancer organisations
  • EJ to reach out to Equity climate change working group, Nikki to grab paragraph from CiTEA, AC/PC to reach out to Green Book/write something for newsletter (EJ/PC/AC/NE)
  • NE to ask if the ABTT meeting should be shared with the wider freelance community (NE)