09:30-11:30, FRIDAY 11th September

Present: Keslie Acton, Rachel Bagshaw, Sally Beck Wippman, Nafeesah Butt, Paule Constable, Alistair Cope, Freddie Crossley, Cynthia Duberry*, Hazel Holder, Jack Hudson, Matt Humphrey, Susan Kempster, Peter McKintosh, Prema Mehta, Vicki Mortimer, Arran Pallan, Emma Jayne Park, Tom Piper, Beth Steel, Athena Stevens, Adele Thomas, Leo Wan, Andrew Whyment (* first attendance)

Lobbying Updates

Think Tanks

We have investigated if it would be worth directing lobbying activity at think tanks, especially in light of a couple recently releasing papers that relate to the theatre sector. It is understood that think tanks are not having much impact on Number 10 but they might still be useful in terms of influencing backbenches and MPs. We have circulated a document detailing which ones might be the most useful on Slack.

Select Committee

We have established a link to one of the clerks on the DCMS committee who has informed us that the committee is very appreciative of the routes to recovery and would welcome anything else we can send them, but that their influence on Number 10 is limited. They encouraged us to look at other committees that might also be relevant to us.


The survey has been live for a couple of weeks now, during which time most organisations have been working on their recovery package applications. It is unlikely that we will have data ready to submit to the Comprehensive Spending Review but we have had about 40 responses so far which support our case. It needs some targeted effort to get the largest and most funded NPOs to complete it. Those that have completed it are listed on the FTF website so we can put pressure on those that have not. Ultimately the data can be shared with anyone in the sector who wants it and we should investigate if we want to engage a data analyst – we recently supported an academic with a research piece, who has offered their analysis services in return.

New MP letter for debate on the 17th

There is an upcoming debate in parliament about the situation for freelancers in all industries. We should turn something around quite quickly to encourage MPs to ask specifically about creative freelancers. There will be a drafting session on Monday morning for anyone who wants to join and we will raise it in our meeting with CIF later today.

Meeting with Cultural Industries Federation

CIF have circulated their proposal for the CSR on behalf of the sector, including freelancers, which is in Slack. We are meeting to discuss it with them this afternoon to find out where freelancers sit in their plans.

Future Labs

We continued discussions about the details of the Future Labs, which we are launching next week. Several elements have now been signed off but decisions about the how the discussion will be shared and the format of any second part still need to be made. We will continue conversations over the weekend and sign off on Monday.

Other Updates

Website and social media

  • Keep sending news articles, including our own news (e.g. the implicit bias training and the Martin Bright meeting)


  • Ethical Rental Sector have reached out to see if anyone wants to talk specifically about arts freelancers, which we will follow up.


  • Ongoing discussions about the practicalities of Covid-safe working practices.


  • Next week’s newsletter with launch the Future Labs
  • Followed by a letter pulling together all our strands from the perspective of a newer member and giving an access perspective


  • The picnics are now on hold due to the new restrictions on groups of more than 6.
  • If the situation continues then we could explore remote picnics (similar to the Monobox coffee mornings) but this would lose the face-to-face element that was part of the original reason for hosting them.
  • We could also look at hosting a greater number of smaller (<6 meetings) but that risks people being left on their own.

Podcast Project

  • No updates

Equity Update

  • Equity are currently drafting a statement to organisations to ensure that they do not undo the progress made in diversity and representation prior to the pandemic.
  • They have invited FMTW to speak at an event on the 28th September.
  • We could invite someone from Equity to speak to us in our meeting next week.

Upcoming Activity

  • It would be useful to have a Core values Document, which will be drafted and shared on Slack for comment next week. (Paule/Nafeesah)
  • We will return to discussions about Lyndsey Turner’s project at a later date.
  • We will discuss Backstage Niche next week after some individual meetings have taken place.
  • Next week (Hazel speaking with Sylvia) (as are Nafeesah and Sunita)
  • IPSE have got in touch to request a meeting – we will investigate what they are offering.
  • should discuss the Festival of UK and establish if it is something we can respond to as a group – perhaps to be discussed in less formal settings.
  • The BECTU Panto Protest is going ahead with social distancing plans on the same day as the We Make Events day of action (30 September) – we should make sure they are in discussion and focus our support on reaching the public rather than the politicians.
  • We will continue to explore our own lobbying campaign options around pantomimes.

Recap action points and deadlines

  • Meet on Monday to draft the new MPs letter (Paule)
  • Sign off the Future Labs on Monday (Jack)
  • Push the survey to large organisations (Leo and everyone)
  • Send news articles and ay updates for Our News (Al)
  • Draft and agree Core Values document (Paule/Nafeesah – everyone)
  • Explore access training options (Al/Kelsie)
  • Suggest any guest speakers
  • Two members to join Equity (Paule and Hazel)

Dates and times of next meetings

Future Labs sign off – Monday morning TBC

MP letter drafting – Monday, 11:00-12:00

Future Labs meeting – Wednesday 12pm (may be a trial run)

Regular catch up – Friday 18th, 09:30-11:30 (Chair: Peter McKintosh / Minutes: Susan Kempster)


Inc Arts have asked us to sign their open letter – we are happy to support in so far as the conversation should be opened up to freelancers.

It was suggested that we explore other training ops (similar to the implicit bias training) if anyone has anything they think we should focus on, such as access.