Future Labs Plain Language Version:

The pandemic has created a crisis in the arts. The UK government has decided that supporting venues and organisations is more important than supporting freelance workers. Many of these workers are highly skilled. Without financial support, many of these freelance workers will find work outside of the arts.

To prevent this we’re holding events called Future Labs. Future Labs:

  • Is a series of conversations about the future of the arts
  • Will involve up to 12 people in each conversation
  • Will bring together freelancers, industry leaders, artistic directors, chief executives and invited experts with many different perspectives. This will include attention to gender, ethnicity, class, nationality, and the LGBTQI+ and d/Deaf + disabled communities, as well as where people live and what jobs they do 


We want the Future Labs conversations to help us find solutions and plan for the future, including finding ways for freelancers to be employed now and in the future by organisations. 


The third round of Future Labs is about to take place and will focus on:


  • What provisions and structural changes can organisations put in place to maintain the mental health and physical wellbeing of freelancers? (Monday 23rd November, 11:00-13:00)


  • Freelancers from communities underrepresented in the arts are most at risk of having to leave the industry.  What do organisations need to do to ensure this does not happen? (Wednesday 25th November, 11:00-13:00)


  • How can we give freelancers more of a voice within the power structures of organisations? (Friday 27th November, 11:00-13:00)


We are looking for freelancers who want to be part of finding solutions for the future. Each freelancer who takes part in Future Labs will be paid £200. 


If you take part in Future Labs you will:

  • Take part in a conversation of up to two hours (with breaks) on Zoom
  • Come to the conversation with possible answers to the question we are asking
  • Return (if possible), after taking a week to think about the conversation, to present possible solutions


If you are a freelancer and would like to be involved with Future Labs please apply by filling out the form here. You can also apply by video. If you are applying by video please answer the following questions:


  • Name
  • How to get in touch with you (phone number or email address)
  • Which panel you would like to participate in
  • Please tell us a bit about what ideas and possible solutions you have
  • Please tell us a bit about the point of view you would bring to the conversation (e.g. job role, career stage, where you come from, are you Deaf or disabled, your ethnicity)
  • Please let us know if you have any access requirements for participating in a remote video and audio discussion with up to 12 other individuals. 


If you are applying by video please send your video to hello@freelancersmaketheatrework.com.


The deadline for applications is 10am Monday 9th November. 


If you have any questions you can reach us at hello@freelancersmaketheatrework.com.

If you apply to be on the panel and we don’t accept your application or you prefer not to be in the conversation you can still submit comments and questions to hello@freelancersmaketheatrework.com.

Full Facts and Questions about Future Labs can be found by clicking here.