FREELANCERS MAKE THEATRE WORK

WEEKLY MEETING MINUTES

09:30-11:30, FRIDAY 26 February

Present: Kelsie Acton, Ben Arkell, Bill Bankes-Jones, Paule Constable, Freddie Crossley, Hazel Holder, Matt Humphrey, Anna Fleischle, Emma Jayne Park, Peter McKintosh, Vicki Mortimer, Tom Piper, Beth Steel, Ella Taylor, Leo Wan, Andrew Whyment, Mimi Doulton, Arran Pallan, Jake Orr, Nikki Edmonds, Laura, Titas Halder, Athena Stevens, Steffan Donnelly

Excluded UK

FMTW will be meeting with Excluded UK next week to look at how we can support the work they are doing. 

Co-ordinator Role

We are currently in the process of formalizing a job description for a paid administrative role within FMTW. The role will be advertised as widely as possible as well as being fully accessible, people from within FMTW may apply. A timeline and strategy for this process has been drawn up in consultation with an outside body who is overseeing the appointment. The job description needs to be completed by the 3rd of March. A panel of FMTW members will be needed to interview the shortlisted applicants. Anyone interested in participating in the process should let Paule Constable know. 

Culture Wars

A question was raised about what FMTW’s engagement should be with the summit called earlier this week (23rd February) by Oliver Dowden around the cultural presentation of Britain’s imperial history. The meeting included the UK’s biggest heritage bodies, museums and art galleries. Strike A Light hosted a meeting on the same day for people to discuss their concerns surrounding this and are currently gathering information and looking at ways of bringing people together on this issue. 

It was generally felt that we should find out what the discussion was between Oliver Dowden and our cultural institutions and to keep as informed as possible on these developing conversations. We will be reaching out to Index on Censorship to discuss this further. A slack channel will be created so internally we can share information and keep a close eye on this. 

Brexit

Alongside our ongoing work on this issue we have created a Brexit page on our website with useful content, links, petitions, as well as an experience bank for people’s own stories of how the current EU visa requirements are affecting them in their work. 

Big Freelancer Report 

The Big Freelancer Report will be shared on Monday or Tuesday this week for participants to read. Questions were asked about how the report’s findings will be released into the world and what FMTW’s relationship is to the report itself. 

Fuel / GLA 

Building on the Freelance Task Force initiated by Fuel in April 2020, the Greater London Authority is facilitating a bursary scheme for freelancers to make recommendations on the future of freelancing and London’s recovery from Covid-19.

There is a meeting to discuss this initiative on Monday 1st March at 5pm.

A Year On

A discussion about how – or if – to mark the fact that we will soon be a year into the Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of theatres. A general feeling that anything ‘celebratory’ would not be appropriate and perhaps the best thing we could do is ask our community what they need from us? A question as to whether this takes the form of a week of tea-breaks, where listening can happen, or another form. Another reflection again on always bearing in mind who we haven’t yet reached. 

Parish Notices

An idea shared about the possibility of creating a weekly briefing or parish notice style event where key information can be shared with freelancers from representatives of organizations. Information is so important to a freelancer’s wellbeing. A problem throughout the pandemic (and beyond) has been about so many freelancers having very little access to information and feeling utterly removed form the industry. A couple of models were raised to look at. One is a call that happens in the US where 200 plus arts orgs share their news in an open meeting with freelancers. Another example was In Good Company, an East Midland’s based company, that hold a monthly event to share and feedback between freelancers and companies big and small. 

Lots of questions raised about this and a discussion to continue next week. 

Next meeting
Friday 05 March 2021, 09:30 – 11:30 (Chair: Anna Fleischle)