The below correspondence is posted here by kind permission from the Society of London Theatre

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is an organisation that works with and on behalf of their Members to champion theatre and the performing arts.

Find out more about SOLT and visit their website here.

We Need You – 16 March

We are now nearly a fortnight away from 16 March, the anniversary of theatres closing. We are marking the date with an industry-wide press and social campaign, highlighting the challenges still facing the industry, hopes for the future and what we need to reopen. There is a variety of activity taking place and we want to ensure it is as joined up as possible – so we can truly shine a spotlight on all aspects of our sectors.

Please help us spread the word this week to performers, theatre makers, industry colleagues and other relevant contacts, asking them to take part in our video and selfie campaign to help raise donations for the Theatre Artists Fund and highlight the very real need for those who a year on need support now. 

Full details of this request can be found in the PDF here, which you’re welcome to share with contacts (not publicly / via social media please).

We have had some fantastic videos so far, from people including Eddie Redmayne, Maxine Peake and most recently Michaela Coel. At this stage we particularly want people to commit to posting a selfie on their channels with the campaign hashtags on 16 March, so please get involved!

We Make Events – Light It In Red
We are working alongside campaign group We Make Events, who are marking the week of 16 March (Monday 15th – Friday 19th) by illuminating venues around the country in red, as well as encouraging live events workers to reach out and check in with colleagues via phone. 

They are also calling for people to show solidarity with the live events industry on social media, by posting their specially designed heart logo or creating your own. If you’re planning to post on social on 16 March to support the Theatre Artists Fund, please also consider sharing this campaign as well. More details of how to get involved are available here.

Tell us about your planned activity
As you may recall, at the beginning of January we asked you to let us know if you were planning activity and now we need to ask again. We are working with DCMS to assist with the events research programme announced last week and as the programme gets underway we need to know if you are planning any activity over the next few months, including rehearsals, streaming and broadcasting.

IF you are planning activity between now and reopening, please can you send the following basic info to by Friday 5 March – if you are NOT planning anything or do not know at the moment, please do not send anything to us. 

Info requested:

  • Name of organisation 
  • What activity is planned
  • Dates of activity planned
  • How many people are going to be involved?
  • Is the organisation already providing or will provide testing to staff members?

IF this is to stream / film something, what is it and what is the proposed timing for the filming / stream?

We have published this week’s Performing Arts in Politics – A look ahead which members can view by logging on to the advocacy page on the SOLT or UK Theatre websites (scroll down to the drop down called ‘Lobbying This Week’). If you are pressed for time, we recommend focusing on the following three things:

  1. This week is the Spring 2021 Budget. Read our asks of Government.
  2. Read the summary of the DCMS Select Committee’s EU visa arrangements for creative workers.
  3. Tell us: A provisional debate in the Lords has been scheduled for Thursday 11 March on Visa and work permit requirements for touring in the EU on music and performing arts students in the UK (Lord Black of Brentwood, Con). If this is an area in which you have a particular interest and information on, please contact us (we will keep an eye on the Speaker’s List and also provide you with any contact emails in the Lords you might want to brief.) 

New series of films launched highlighting experiences of theatre workers in the Black community 
BlackStage UK is a free documentary-style web series exposing the racial injustices experienced by Black workers in the UK’s creative and entertainment industries. With each episode focusing on a topic that widely affects the Black community, the series sheds light on industry bias, and explores solutions for moving towards true racial equity in the sector, and in the wider world.

The resulting episodes are a free tool in anti-racist education for people and organisations who have made public promises to implement systemic change, and a vital starting place for those who are beginning this anti-racist work. 

The first film, Episode 1: MicroAggressions and Assumptions, is now available on their YouTube channel

The impact of Covid-19 on fundraising
How has the pandemic impacted fundraising, marketing and audience development strategies? Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy share their thoughts in an article on what last year has meant for the cultural sector, and where we go from here.