Chair: Josie Underwood

Minutes: Alistair Cope

Present: Josie Underwood, Mimi Doulton, Alistair Cope, Paul Carey Jones, Emma Jayne Park, Nikki Edmonds, , Jake Orr, Freddie Crossley, Peter McKintosh


Values 11 and 5 were read out and our anti racism and complicity statement was read out loud.

Updates and Reports: 

  • Big Freelancer Survey (JU)

JU – Another meeting took place this week. Very productive and formulating ideas. We are looking for avenues to share the survey and are open to suggestions. BECTU, Equity etc.

We will also drop into AAPTLE the week before and ask them to share across their networks.

An editorial is also planned in The Stage.

We are planning on linking up with DCMS in order to find out when they have funding and budget dates so we can supply them our data after the survey is complete. 

PM – We should try and get to AAPTLE next week as it will be a bigger meeting and the January meeting could be quite small.

MH – Could partner with We Make Events. Matt happy to reach out.

PCJ – What languages should we translate this into and what access requirements are needed? KA – There should be a plain language version and audio version. If there is budget, we could get the plain language version translate into BSL. JO – We have funds from ACE to support access. JU – Mellissa from Essex Uni is also securing funds for distribution and a statistician. KA- Are we looking at Ireland too? EJP – We could reach out to the Equity rep in Ireland as they are super on it. KA – There is a different sign language for Ireland.

  • Scottish Town Halls proposal (JO/EJ/JU)
    • In person satellites / online meetings

JU – We sent out the BIG 12 funding application which was ‘England’ based. We’ve spoken with Steffan about Wales briefly but what is our role in Scotland?

EJ – Scotland has such a different structure. We’ve never really resolved our work there. The same for FTF and many others. Perhaps what is needed is a discussion about what people in Scotland need FMTW to be. Maybe what we need are some open freelancer sessions for Scottish Freelancers to actively ask them what they want/need? These could be ‘in-person’ and small so not massive town halls. 

AC – Can we put a meeting in about this. It needs funding, structuring and actioning.

  • ACE Freelancer Symposium (VM)
    • January date proposals (12/13th & 26/27th afternoons)

The tender has been accepted so in July next year we will be helping deliver the Symposium. Vicki attending the meeting on Wednesday. (Vicki to report back)

There are two meeting planned for January about how we deliver the project.

We have been asked to provide two ‘reps’ to help see the project through and be the main point of contact for FMTW. They would like the name by Friday next week. These are paid position but we don’t have the details yet.

AC- Can we get a full breakdown from Vicki and send a specific ask around to the FMTW volunteers with all the info? – JU Yes.

  • Skills based workshops (JU)

These are the ACE funding workshops. There will be 6-8 freelancer focussed workshops. Taxes, unions etc. There is a quick meeting after this one about it.

Practical skills based workshops for theatre freelancers. Eg. Tax, Working in Europe

JO – Producer hat on. Can we clarify what the meeting is and what is required.

JU – The meeting is an informal start to the process. What’s going on, what is people’s capacity and who is interested in helping out etc.

AC – Could we reach out to John at Curtain Call about a networking sessions?

MH – Absolutely. Reach out to JD at Finmo too. These proved really popular for us last yer.

EJP – We’re looking at developing a ‘networking for introverts’ session. This might fit.

EJP – Is there a ‘training for buildings’ we could offer too? Here is a ‘how you work with freelancers’ session etc. Could both be run in parallel? JU – Good point. KA – This sounds great but a much bigger project. JU – This isn’t what the ACE funding is for but we should absolutely talk further about this.

  • 10 principles consultancy (JU)

JU – Uk Theatre released their 10 Principles and asked for our approval before it went live. We had a conversation with UK Theatre about the principles and fed back. We liked the principles but how are they actioned/monitored and what happens when a company/building/body doesn’t adhere to them? We released a newsletter this week deconstructing this and UK Theatre have reached out to say they want to continue the conversation. There is a consultation fee involved. Would anyone like to be a part of this?

AC- This is great. This is a good ask and one that need sending to the wider team perhaps in a singular email?

Agenda points

  • Freelancer Training (AC/VM/JU)
    • Buildings
    • Unions
    • FMTW offer!?!

This was a conversation born out of the Inc Arts Unlock program. We discussed how freelancer access training through buildings and what the requirements are. If you can’t do the training, how can you apply for a job that requires it? Who pays for it? The freelancer? If buildings are offering free training but not offering to pay for the time, what can we do?

This is a specific Freelancer problem.

Can we lobby buildings to pay freelancers for the training?

Should unions be offering it?

Should FMTW be offering this training?

AC – We discussed having a sort of monthly/bi-monthly town hall where we open it up to BIG topics and conversations to Freelancers.

KA – We need to make sure we look at this as two things. There is awareness and there is training. They are two different but equally important things.

AC- Absolutely, that was discussed. An open Town Hall followed by ‘opportunities for training.’

  • ‘Freelancer Problem Solving’ offer (AC/JU)

AC – This will be starting next year and sounds really exciting. AC was talking so didn’t minute this bit (sorry)

JU – We’ve gone with ‘Freelance Problem Solving’ as a title but are open to suggestions.

All agreed it works! Huurah!

JU  -This is a provocation from Inc Arts to make sure that 1% of all budget funding lines is allocated to diversifying your organisation. It is aimed at buildings/orgs etc but we feel we should use it for our own accountability. 

As we accept more money, we should be talking about this as we budget for projects. 

-JO – This is so brilliant. It feels radical, but it absolutely shouldn’t be radical.

MD – How do make this a long term thing and not just flash in the plan?

Action points 

  • Reach out to AAPTLE about sharing Big Freelancer Survey – JU
  • EJ to supply Equity Ireland contact. – EJ
  • Set up meeting about Scottish Freelancers and how we support them – JU
  • Email to FMTW team about 10 principles consultancy. – JU
  • Set up meeting in NY about Freelancer training
  • Anyone interested in working on the Skills Based workshops to join the new Slack channel
  • Get feedback from Vicki about the Symposium and send on to the team to ask who would like to volunteer for the paid roles.