FMTW Meeting Minutes 11th February 2022

Chair: Josie Underwood

Minutes: Alistair Cope

Present: Alistair Cope, Paule Constable, Josie Underwood, Vicki Mortimer, Athena Stevens, Paul Carey Jones, Kelsi Acton, Bill Bankes-Jones, Emma Jayne Park, Freddie Crossley


Recipe of the day from Freddie: 

Anti-racism Inc Arts Unlock Commitments (9.40-10.10)

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 a week to develop our anti-racism policy.

Last week we talked about diversifying all our FMTW projects. This week we have held a separate conversation about hosting open safe space meetings for global majority colleagues. Sunita has kindly volunteered to facilitate. Next meeting is on Wednesday 9-10am. Please check slack for the draft invitation.

PC – Should we make a direct offer to, Backstage Niche, Inc Arts etc to offer our platforms as an extension of theirs? Anything they need to share or need support on? -Yes all round.

Bill – our social platforms too.

EJ – Should it be an offer or should we just do it? We do a lot of it anyway?

AC- We share a lot of content from Inc Arts but don’t monitor the others that heavily.

VM – We can share that load and if we see anything that could be shared we should pass it on.

EJ – Can we open each anti-racism meeting with a sharing of what is going on? 

JU – Yes and all Friday meetings


We moved onto Work and care specifically about ‘As part of your staff training offer, provide regular staff training opportunities targeted at diverse candidates including freelancers’:

EJ- Are we ring-fencing any of the skills based workshop spaces for Global Majority freelancers?

JU – There is no limit on the amount of people that can come. We also talked about ring-fencing some money to support freelancers who can’t financially afford to come due to taking time off work and other commitments etc. 

KA – we also need to ‘Listen to people and then do what they need’ via the safe open spaces we are creating.

VM – We must take a moment to think about how our ‘white assumptions’ create events and how we widen our scope to make them more inviting.


Updates and reports

  • DCMS prep meeting (JU)

In the diary for 10.30 – 11.30 on Monday. A discussion about what we bring to our DCMS meeting and who would like to attend on the 15th (1.30pm-2pm). -PC: this will be a regular slot that they want us to attend and this meeting is about structuring what we say and how.

  • APPG prep Meeting

In the diary from 9-10 am on Monday. Similar to DCMS. Focused on the skills shortage and skills gap. The meeting is on the 22nd Feb 2pm-4pm. The offer is for someone to go in and talk. Who and what goes in the room to be discussed at our meeting. 

PC – They are happy to receive anecdotal evidence. Perhaps we could bring Nikki into this? We should also approach production managers and perhaps Tom Piper as he works a lot in education.

VM – Can we put a social call out asking for anecdotal evidence about recruiting? – AC- Yes, I shall action. PC -It can be an anecdotal story or they could come along to our meeting to discuss in person.

FC – There are also those who can’t stay in the industry. When people come to retire, the next generation just aren’t going to be here. There is an immediate problem and then this problem on the horizon. 

PC- This is exactly what they need to hear.

PCJ – Part of the problem we have is that we are losing those voices. It is aged bias (among many other things) so how do we retain and capture those voices of those who are leaving/left.

BBJ – APPG groups aren’t heavy political groups but they all have an interest and they listen really well. Numbers are for the select committee etc but these stories (Freddie’s etc) are what they want and need to hear.

FC – Happy to attend

  • Culture in Crisis document (JU)

Really big doc that could be broken into chunks for people to read and come back on. Meeting at 9.30-10.30 on Tuesday to discuss.

  • Big Freelancer Survey (JU)

JU – Almost complete, we are just finalising the language.

BBJ – Should we check it aligns with the UNESCO report as there could be quite a big comparison. 

JU – We shall send to DCMS and Arts Council to show them what is about to go out.

  • Fundraising (JU)

We met this week to discuss responses so far. Letter went to BIG 12 and a few NPOs. We’ve had responses from other orgs who we didn’t contact saying they want to help but not the amount we have asked for. Kate Varah has written an ask for us using a sliding scale. This has been approved by the Fundraising group and Kate is sending out. 

Agenda points:

  • Workshop themes (JU/AC)

A couple of new ideas needed for the workshops. One is ‘Representation for backstage and technical roles.’ – All agreed this is a great workshop idea.

The ‘Working with Brexit’ workshop is proving tracky as there are so many different aspects of it now and it is changing. Would the advice given in the workshop be relevant and/or current?

PC – I think it is relevant and the experience shared by those privileged to have worked in Europe and have had to do the paperwork etc would be useful for those who haven’t. -Paule to reach out to contacts. 

JU – Can we throw some other ideas around just incase we can’t get these together in time?

AC – Mental health workshop? PC – Could we approach BAPAM about this? (

  • State of the Industry (AC)

We’ll start collating Feb’s newsletter next week with the idea of being sent out the following week. Can we all keep our eye on changes and the things we want to feedback to freelancers?

  • ADs/Buildings (AC)

Similar to above but this is an email going to buildings and ADs etc. We’re going to highlight some of the good things other buildings are doing to gently encourage them to find their own initiatives and increase dialogue with freelancers. 


Can we share the Keir Starmer video from Creative Coalition? -Yes


  • Identify which channels we should monitor to help support anti-racism work – AC and all
  • Start each anti-racism meeting and Friday meeting with a rundown of what anti-racism groups have been doing each week and how we can support.
  • Ring-fencing positions in the workshops for Global Majority and those with financial needs – JU/KA
  • Put a call-out for people to send us their stories about recruitment and retention issues.
  • Go through the SDUK survey to see how it will correlate with ours – JU
  • Paule to contact ISM about Brexit workshop.
  • Create Slack Channels for State of the industry and AD/Buildings email


Meetings this week


APPG pre-meeting – 9-10am

DCMS pre-meeting – 10.30-11.30am


Culture in Crisis document discussion – 9.30-10.30am


Anti-racism: Global Majority Meeting planning – 9-10am

Teabreaks – 11-11.30am


Friday Morning Meeting – 9.30-11.30