Freelance Futures White

A Summer Programme of Learning and Action for Equitable Conditions in Culture

Monday 16th May – Friday 15th July 2022

FREELANCE : FUTURES is a call for collective learning and action to build equitable conditions for freelancers working in culture. Through free resources, workshops, panel discussions, self-organising spaces and virtual gathering (13 JUN – 17 JUN), we explore sector organising, freelancer rights and resources, organisational transformation and policy-making.

Freelance : Futures which presents over two months of events, conversation, resources and exchange for independent practitioners, cultural organisations, unions, funders and policymakers. The symposium is a call for collective learning and action to build equitable conditions for freelancers working in culture.

Though funded by Arts Council England, Freelance : Futures has been convened by a consortium of freelancer-led networks, and organisations working with independent practitioners, including Freelancers Make Theatre Work, Inc Arts, Migrants In Culture, MAX Musician and Artist Exchange, people make it work, Something To Aim For and What Next?

It’s been an enormous amount of work for each of these partners in an incredibly short period of time, working collaboratively across disciplines and industries. While it may look like these are large organisations, each partner is represented by one or two people, and every single one of these individuals is a freelancer.

So as we step into this extraordinary series of events, we think even that fact is worth celebrating. Here’s an opportunity to lead the conversation, to discuss and determine the path for action and collect our voices, with the ear of Arts Council England, Members of Parliament and House of Lords representatives, to create and enact meaningful change across the cultural sector.

Events are taking place in England because of its funding, but we’re keen that these conversations should be open and useful for freelancers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too. We know many freelancers travel across these borders for work and the same issues are prevalent in all nations. We also know by bringing our collective voice for change together we will be louder and stronger.

Freelancers Make theatre Work are pleased to present three events. We Could all be Activists will gather an online panel of activists working primarily outside the arts. They’ll talk about the ways they bring about change and discuss how these modes could be applied to the arts and how this work can be achieved by freelancers (even if we think we’re not cut out for it) alongside unpredictable schedules.

We’re also creating a collection of (almost) simultaneous in-person workshops in National Portfolio Organisations across England. Are You Outsourcing the Freelancer Problem? (and How Do We Insource the Freelancer Solution?) will provide a framework for conversation between freelancers and the venues they engage with. 

The third event we’re creating will be an open space. Programme Your Own is a place to reconnect with activists you’ve met during the conference, fill in the gaps in conversations, reflect, discuss and create plans for action. 

We’ll also be part of discussions and conversations throughout the symposium and working to include as many voices as we can in the conversation. That’s where we need your help to spread the word and why we’ve really pushed to create a platform for connection and conversation between freelancers across the arts sector. The Mighty Networks group for Freelance : Futures is designed exactly for this. Here you’ll be able to keep up to date with what’s going on throughout the symposium, access resources and discuss events and pathways for action. We also hope that this will be an ever-growing place for continued dialogue and greater connectivity between arts freelancers beyond the programme and into the future. 

If you’re wondering where to begin, Mighty Networks is a great place to start. You can join here. Or take a look at the Freelance : Futures Symposium website.

We’re really excited and look forward to seeing you there.

Curtain Call Square logo
Migrants in culture logo
What Next logo
INC Arts logo
Something to aim for logo
music and artist exchange
Arts Council England Logo