FREELANCERS MAKE THEATRE WORK
WEEKLY MEETING MINUTES
12 February, 2021
The meeting began with breakout rooms with two topics:
- What do you need to do your best work?
- What do you need to trust others to get on with things?
- Recap: We have secured funding for an administrative coordinator role for FMTW and have put together a job description. Questions have arisen about how we model the transparency and HR process we want to see reflected in the industry? We have hired HR professional, Avina Shah.
David Glass Workshop
- We provided a brief summary of the Thursday (11/2) workshop with David Glass on creative leadership. He is keen to offer further workshops.
- The workshops have us thinking about the push/pull dynamic, the way we seek to hold space for discussion and innovative thinking, humility and empathy, and the multifaceted nature of creative leadership. We may have more reflections later on, as it is still quite fresh and we would like more time to reflect.
AAPTLE (Summary of this week’s meeting)
- A Visa specialist attended giving context to challenges in light of Brexit.
- A lot of work is happening across various groups and there is a feeling that the groups can align more with each other to be more effective, highlighting the strengths that different groups possess to support each others’ initiatives.
- Working on Return to Work to help freelancers and PAYE.
- We are going to set up a meeting amongst FMTW folks who have been attending AAPTLE meetings for the purpose of discussing the dynamic between FMTW, AAPTLE, and the other groups within AAPTLE. This is in the hopes of establishing a more cohesive working relationship between FMTW and AAPTLE and, seemingly, empowering all the represented groups.
- FMTW has been invited to give evidence as to how the decisions made affect those in our industry, which we gathered in a meeting this past Tuesday. This has been sent to DCMS and will be presented in person next Tuesday at the APPG.
- Our asks:
- Clarity of the information (Short-term)
- Accept the offer of a visa waiver for artists. There is a precedence for this, where the term “artist” includes all theatre workers. It would not remove the need for work permits.
- Do something about entry-level and new career arts workers, because so many artists have benefited from this historically.
- Anecdotes were provided from across the performing arts industry.
- We Make Events is providing evidence, as well, more geared towards the music industry, and inclusive of evidence/anecdotes from technical workers.
- Our group audit is a survey based on our perspectives. You are welcome to fill out what you feel comfortable with. The intent is to make sure our FMTW group is representative and inclusive in the way we want our industry to be.
- We rotate our FMTW internal meetings between update meetings where we keep abreast of all of our projects and learning meetings which focus on…learning!
- Members with ideas can propose a session and try to find a speaker. Get in touch with that week’s chair to let them know. It can be someone coming to deliver a training or a really interesting speaker.
- A question arose about how we move from learning into practice.
- Do we want to have a mid-week follow up following a learning session?
- Do we want to ring-fence 10-15 minutes in our update meetings to discuss the learning session?
- We need to keep in mind homeschooling, care, and other weektime responsibilities.
- FMTW Chair to come back to this point.
- One upcoming session will be with CN Lester about gender allyship. This session will be delivered over two weeks, with half the group attending each so that we are on one screen for each session. In anticipation of this, CN will send out a survey.
- We would like to bring in two people:
- Amanda Palmer from Inc Arts to talk about dismantling racist structures.
- Charmaine McCauley to lead a workshop on anti-racism in real time.
- We would like to have this work influence the formation of an anti-racist policy within FMTW, which led to discussions about an FMTW charter.
- Members of FMTW shared personal stories as recently as this week where they have been experiencing racism in the creative industries (film sets, drama schools).
Further Action Points:
- We will discuss Hostile Environment and a possible session surrounding this topic.
- We will investigate paying guests.
- We will create an anti-racist policy.
- We asked, what is the structure by which we hold ourselves accountable to the (forthcoming) charter and values?
- Can we have a rolling weekly slot to discuss these values?