By Vicki Mortimer

This was a two-part meeting as part of a process to look at how FMTW can be most useful – and most sustainable – now that the sober reality of COVID/ Brexit looks to dominate 2021. Having set up FMTW in response to the first shutdown, we need to look at being aware of the evolving needs and nurturing our human energies/stamina.

Part one was about how to find new volunteers with the appetite to jump in and contribute to any of the different areas of FMTW…. being open and welcoming, and being conscious of the need to reflect the freelance theatre community in its huge range of skills, lived-perspectives, geographies. There was a conversation about how to define a freelancer, now that those made redundant from PAYE jobs are newly freelance…. and what about theatre workers with a split income (with some PAYE from teaching for example).

The first step will be a series of invitations to suggested individuals, to set the ball rolling, followed by the idea of an Open Day, where anyone from the community can come and find out more.

We also talked about the need to link up with more groups out in the community, and finding freelancers who already attend these groups, with idea of inviting them to come along to FMTW planning meetings.

The second part of this meeting was to take a look at the project flow for FMTW – we have been using a software with post-it note graphics (Miro) to start to make sense of the regular work (wellbeing; news feed etc); alongside quick-reaction work (MP’s letter responding to Brexit issues) and industry projects (eg the Future Labs sessions).

A bit like expanding the volunteer group, this process is really also about ensuring that we stay accountable for the things we set in motion. We don’t want to drop any balls, though of course we will make mistakes along the way – especially (as we keep reminding each other) as we are amateurs at this!

Throughout both of these, it became clear that the ‘values’ document has a key part to play in maintaining the integrity of FMTW as we look to refresh our energy and engage with the changing reality in 2021. How we treat each other is the first step to how we treat the wider community: with kindness, generosity and respect.

A megaphone