FMTW General Meeting Agenda: 9.30-11.30, Friday 22nd January 2021:

Chair: Ben Arkell

Minutes: Created by EJ, Seconded by Ben Arkell

Present: Ben Arkell, Paule Constable, Jack Hudson, Alistair Cope, Susan Kempster, Prema Mehta, Bill Bankes-Jones, Arran Pallan, Tom Piper, Vicki Mortimer, Emma Jayne Park, Ella Taylor, Anna Fleischle, Hazel Holder, Leo Wan, Peter MckIntosh, Freddie Crossley, Kelsie Acton, Matt Humphrey, Peter Brathwaite, Paul Carey Jones.


Apologies: Ola Ince, Chinonyerem Odimba

Late: Adele Thomas, Andy Whyment



Tea Break regulars have started to feedback that they have begun to build their week around the range of FMTW sessions!!!

We have confirmation that we have funding for an administrator!!



From Slack

  • Website has had the greatest reach since the first week of November with the Interdependence Report and the Commons/Lords update attracting the most traffic.
  • EU Specific MPs Letter has been downloaded over 50 times since it launched at the beginning of the week.
  • There are some unnamed images of individuals for the Instagram campaign in the GDrive, can people please pop in and name anyone they know.
  • Merch Sales have dropped considerably since Christmas, can people please spread the word.
  • Reminder to avoid using FMTW Bat Signal Whats’App as a place of conversation and not to reply all to meeting emails so we can sustain a healthier balance of activity.

New Movement Session:

  • Susan considering a well being, afternoon movement session.
    Lynne Page (Movement Director/ Choreographer) has contacted Paule regarding a similar thing.  Susan will follow up.

Kate Waters Combat Session:

  • Kate’s gym is looking to set up an amatuer session (in person) for artists in future and are looking to fundraise.  Can FMTW write a testimonial to support their funding bid and could we offer social media support? Group agreement that it’s a great idea.


Audit :

  • Coming out this week, please complete asap to inform the recruitment of new members.



  • Can we add sustainability in the values document?  
  • Reminder that we need to actively remind each other to carry our values daily with equal focus to the project work we undertake.


  • EJ to write next one on Tuesday after attending APPG.

Theatre Centre

  • Following Future Labs, Emma Rees from Theatre Centre invited two freelancers to observe a board meeting and would like to continue this with FMTW.
  • EJ offered a proposal of how to move this forward.
  • Anna/ Vicki offered to help with the check in sessions.

Learning Meetings 

  • No facilitator available for the next session, focussing on conflict resolution.

Andy following up with Kyle from The Dialogue Project and will confirm for a future date.

  • Next week (29th)  is not a learning meeting as we have not arranged a facilitator.
  • A document exists for noting areas of interest/ speakers for the learning sessions.
  • A timetable will be created so everyone is aware of which learning slots are available with individuals approaching potential speakers in collaboration with Chairs to avoid clashes or overworking the meeting chairs.
  • Bill interested in Darren Henley coming to a learning session to have a full conversation. 
  • EJ suggest trying to orchestrate a conversation with the four Chief Execs of the funding bodies of the devolved nations.
  • Can the learning sessions be a gift back to those who are volunteering with FMTW so only open to FMTW Friday members and project team members. (Operating similarly to the Friday meetings – ie they are not open for invitations)
  • Learning needs to be applicable to what we are trying to achieve.
  • General agreement not to widen learning meetings out until we understand how they function.


  • First in a series of regular Access agenda points  to confirm what we want our commitments to be.
  • Given that we have limited resources, when do we go ahead with events without access provision (captioners, BSL interpreters etc) and when do we refuse to go ahead?
  • Sometimes it is better to be clear that we are not offering access instead of misleading and disappointing people.
  • We read aloud and discussed the following sections of the FMTW Access Commitments document.

    Videos, Social Media and Website
  • Greater consideration needs to be given to creating short and sweet Alt Text, both in terms of accessibility and capacity for scheduling social media.
  • Bill requests addition that hashtags us capitalisation for each word.  Eg #FreelancersMakeTheatreWork instead of #freelancersmaketheatrework
  • Instagram, Kelsie recommends not going back through images to add Alt Text but that we need to make Alt Text manageable going forward.
  • ASCII Memes are images composed of symbols, letters or numbers and therefore offer no context via screen readers as they sound like a series of symbols.

In Person Events 

  • Reminder that disabled people having to request Access provision in advance places an additional requirement on those people.  Kelsie references that this is a huge question that will carry forward into our work next week.
  • Can we consider our own fair practice cancellation policy?
  • Can we have a conversation about how access provision works alongside our anti-racism and gender inclusive work? Can we create a genuinely diverse pool of practitioners?

Projects Sheet Discussion 

  • Document (PDF of Miro Board) included with agenda was discussed.
  • Notes that colour coding for active/ inactive activity needs improved.
  • Visual aids are note accessible for all, Ben will transpose this to a Spreadsheet.
  • Can post it notes be hyperlinked to a Google Folder.
  • The next steps will be to move forward to refining this and creating a Google Drive.

Any Other Business

Tom Piper, Kickstart Scheme

  • There is an opportunity through the Kickstart Scheme, to work with organisations to support paid training opportunities for young people.  Can we be active in this?  Can FMTW employ someone

    There will be a meeting on Thursday 28th about this (suggested time 1130)

Prema Mehta, Strands of Work

  • There are a handful of Stage Sight organisations who are planning larger activity to ensure we return to an inclusive workforce. This ties in with themes that came out of Future Labs. There will be consultation with the Stage Sight individual members, but it would be good to know if FMTW would be interested in assisting with wider consultation to involve the FMTW network of freelancers.  

Paule notes it is important that we avoid doubling up and work with people who have the capacity, so that we are involved in the conversation but don’t have to drive everything.  Everyone is entitled to create and drive a project strand if they have capacity. 

Prema Mehta, Timing of Meetings

  • Some of the team have moved further afield, can we shift the meeting time sometimes so that we don’t lose people who have been key to the organisation?

    Comments/ questions from following conversation:
    The consistency of the Friday meeting feels more beneficial to the whole group, previous Friday afternoon meetings have been low in attendance and energy.

    Can we record meetings to be shared in the Slack for a limited time so that those unable to attend can watch?  Does recording meetings change the openness of the room?  Is their strength in being able to think aloud clumsily?  Anna noted that recorded conversations in another group changed the tone of the room.

    It is all of our responsibility to keep people involved, Friday meetings do not need to be the pinnacle.  Can we develop a better buddy system? Is this a better route to inclusion.

Paule Constable, Zoom Accounts

  • The Board have approved purchasing two FMTW Zoom accounts one for wellbeing and one for internal meetings.


For Information 

On the 1st of February, Andy will  be attending a meeting with the National Youth Theatre, RSC and Fuel regarding a potential project that looks at creating meaningful training opportunities for freelancers on a regular basis outside of major projects.  He’ll report back in Slack.



  • Vicki provide testimonial for Kate Waters in person boxing session finding bid.


Sustainability/ Values:

  • Paule working sustainability into values document. 


  • EJ Write Newsletter focussed on APPG

Experiments in Governance:

  • EJ to follow up with Emma Rees
  • EJ further develop project, share notes in Slack and create a midweek meeting to look over the process.


Learning Meetings:

  • Peter create a timetable for learning meetings so people are aware of available dates when talking to potential facilitators.

Project Board

  • Working Group continue to work on this.
  • EJ Hyperlink Post It Notes and create template GoogleDrive
  • Ben transpose the board as a Spreadsheet.

Zoom Accounts

  • Paule making a Wellbeing Account and an FMTW ‘Business’ account.

Next meeting:

Fri 29th Jan,  Chaired by Anna

  • Focussing on New Members and Strands of Work. 

Please arrive with suggestions of people who could be involved.

Friday 5th February, General Meeting

Friday 12th February, Learning Meeting

Friday 19th February, General Meeting

Friday 26th February, Learning Meeting