Chair: Josie Underwood

Minutes: Alistair Cope

Present: Paule Constable, Alistair Cope, Josie Underwood, Paul Carey Jones, Bill Bankes-Jones, Peter McKintosh, Jake Orr, Vicki Mortimer, Nikki Edmonds, Freddie Crossley (very briefly!)

Apologies: Mimi Doulton

The anti-racism statement and values 6 and 1 were read aloud.

Introductions included our favorite chocolate bars. 

Updates and reports

Updates & reports:

  • Banking

Banking is sorted. The new bank account is set up and we can now switch over payments details etc for outgoing expenses and invoices. 

Josie will now be added to the banking to pay invoices as currently this has all fallen on Paule. Paule will still authorise payments to Josie and Alistair

It was raised by Paule that many people involved in the Freelance Futures event last year STILL have not been paid. This is not an FMTW payment issue but an Arts Council one that People Make It Work are facilitating. FMTW are covering the costs of those with FMTW and will then be reimbursed by People Make It Work.

The dissolving of Inc Arts has made it all very complicated but ironically it is the freelancers that have not been paid.

£2,600 is still owed.

It was agreed by the group in the room to raise this direct with Arts Council (currently we have been going through People Make It Work)

  • BFS

There are 5 days left. Please keep pushing it.

The article Paule has written has just been published by The Stage. Please share it as it is really, really great.

Nearly at 1,000 respondents. 

Final newsletter about it going out today.

There is a meeting with the survey team tomorrow to discuss next steps and writing the report. This will include planning for accessible versions of the report so they can all be released at the same time.

Agenda points:

  • Lived Experience Panel – EMBARGOED INFO

We have been approached by Pascal at The Uni of Exeter about doing a ‘Pandemic Preparedness’ global research project. They have asked if we would be involved in the funding application (which has since been approved) and we would be paid for our time.

They are looking for a ‘lived experience panel’ of Freelancers who they could consult about their experience of the pandemic. We could do this ‘in-house’ but perhaps we should do this as a call out?

This is embargoed until end of April.

Al- Should we hop on a call with Pascale to sort out what the call out is and when it should go out? They can use us and they can use our network but we need clarification as to what the ask is.

Paule- We need to make sure that people who are asked to contribute their lived experience are supported as for many it was a traumatic time.

  • Funding & charity status

We have received some funding from the Maria Bjornson Foundation. We applied for a large sum of money to support ALL of FMTW’s costs for 12 months. We also asked for ‘ongoing support’ so we can plan ahead for the next 24-36 months.

They have offered of £30,000 split over 2 years.

This is great but we still need to find more funds to secure our 24-36 month plans.

The fundraising team (Alistair, Jake, Paule, Josie) need help in widening our fundraising. We are clearly looking for quite a bit of money and we need to reach further afield. 

We are reaching out to the theatres/orgs who have supported us in the past as well as those we approached and heard nothing back from. These are relatively small bits of money and ideally we need to secure ‘match funding’ for the £30,000. Who could we reach out to?

Paule – We’ve had quite a hand-to-mouth existence. We’ve survived (many grass-routes orgs have not) due to a lot of hard work but this is now a challenge to us and the industry to make our entity more established and formalised. We have discussed becoming a charity so we can start to ‘formalise’ what we are and start putting things into action within the industry. 

Jake – We keep coming back to the same problem of consistent fundraising. We’ve got to be putting in place structure that support the whole of the organisation, those paid and those volunteering. We have loads of activities planned but in order to effectively do them, we must have a solid fundraising strategy. In order to do that we need solid governance and structure within FMTW. 

We have a list of orgs, individuals etc that we can approach but we need to add more to it.

We are reworking the letter to Maria Bjornson so we can approach more people and we have some doc ready to send out. 

Please can everyone feed in?

Bill – We need to make sure we have a well rounded proposal

Al- we that and used it to approach MBF. It can absolutely be added to.

Jake – We can absolutely have these meetings but we need to underpin the structure and governance of FMTW.

Vicki – Shelia Macketchi Foundation might be good and we should see if Lisa Burger could bat for us.

Paule- things we can do now. Share with the group the docs. Approach those who have funded us before to fund again. Rework the ask for ‘big money people.’

Josie –  should we batsignal the ask?

Paule – if it is a gentle ask, yes.

Letters to theatre buildings: LINK

The letter we sent to Maria Bjornson: Link

Our PDF doc: Link

List of approaches: Link

Action points

  • Eat chocolate.
  • Josie to get in touch with Pascale from Essex Uni about next steps of their Pandemic Preparedness and arrange a call.
  • EVERYONE – final push for Big Freelancer Survey.
  • EVERYONE – add names to places we could approach for funding. (Josie to input links here)
  • Josie – to start looking into charity status with Keith?
  • Bat Signal the fundraising ask?

AOB

Bill- Have we connected with Lizzie Crump about her project.

Josie – we are trying. She is currently away for Easter.

Josie – Our DCMS meeting tomorrow has been pushed back due to the Easter hols. Next meeting is on 20th April.

DCMS have asked us to look at ‘The Good Work Review’ to see if it rings true with Freelancers. Our response is ‘yes’ but what next? It is a massic doc but worth looking at (even just the exec summary). 

In yesterday’s meeting it was discussed how touring is broken in regards to Arts Council funding. Funds come too late in order to organise the tour and it is detrimental to freelancer and freelancer wellbeing. This conversation will be brought to DCMS at the next meeting.

Nikki – Is off abroad with work until the end of the year. Bon voyage Nikki!