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Blog 3 from the Taskforce!

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Welcome to our third weekly update!


We are a collection of freelancers from the UK Freelance Task Force responding to issues affecting freelancers in Wales. Our practical and creative responses will be through time-limited projects. Welcome to our weekly blog!

If any freelancer needs financial support right now please visit:

https://theatresupport.info/

https://theatreartists.fund/

https://www.trtf.com/fleabag-support-fund

Some members of the Taskforce (L-R: Steffan Donnelly, Glesni Price-Jones, Deborah Light; Angharad Lee, Mathilde Lopez, Connor Allen; Hannah McPake, Jafar Iqbal) at this week's meeting.


What we’ve done this week:

Listened to freelancers:


The Taskforce have spoken with over 25 freelancers this week, hearing their concerns and suggestions. This has fed into the work you see below and our other projects in the upcoming weeks.


Hosted Wales Freelance Taskforce Green Rooms:


This week, two Green Rooms (open zoom discussions) took place, aimed at Dance freelancers and Welsh language freelancers. Thank you to everyone who attended.


There is one Green Room next week for:


Rhondda Cynon Taff Freelance Workers

Monday 20th July : 11am-12.30pm A safe space for RCT Freelancers to share concerns about the now, the future and suggest action points for the Task Force moving forward. Please let us know your access needs before the event so that we can best accommodate you. If you’d like to attend, please email:walesfreelancetaskforce@gmail.com


We will be launching more Green Rooms the following week.

Asked for clarity on additional funding by Government, and asking for a percentage to go to freelancers:


We have sent a letter to Arts Council Wales, ahead of our meeting with them next week, asking them to ensure at least 25-30% of the additional funding by the Government (which we are still awaiting clarity on) goes to freelancers. Ideally this would be in the form of micro grants with a straightforward application form - and a suspension of the ratio of self-employed (50%) and PAYE work, which restricted some freelancer’s access to ACW’s previous emergency support.

Took part in the following events:


Glesni, Angharad, Steffan took part in a ‘Creu yn Cofid’ live zoom on Thursday evening, hosted by the National Eisteddfod.


Taskforce members attended Whats Next Cymru and the UK Taskforce (of which we are a part) Open Space meetings.


Members of the taskforce dance sub group will attend a UK taskforce meeting with people dancing next week and request that any lobbying that is being done on behalf of the dance sector in England needs to also happen in Wales (and the other devolved nations).


In conversation with Equity:

Hannah has been engaging with Equity on support for freelancers and the taskforce. Members of the taskforce will be attending Equity’s Welsh National Committee Meeting on Mon 20th.


In England, Equity has sent a letter to NPO’s on the behalf of freelance dance artists. Deborah Light has been in contact with Equity Wales to request an equivalent letter be drawn up to APW’s in Wales.


Deborah has also requested information from Equity re. A timeline/roadmap for sector recovery. They are currently in discussions with Welsh Government and ACW and will issue guidance.


Deborah Light has requested data from ACW specifically around levels of funding for dance and what has/hasn’t been funded by ACW recent emergency funds.


USEFUL LINKS/INFO:


Ffolio commissions

http://www.ffilmcymruwales.com/index.php/en/film-makers/ffolio


One dance UK webinars on returning to dance

https://www.onedanceuk.org/programme/return-to-dance/#


The Senedd's Culture, Welsh Language and Communications (CWLC) committee recommendations for the arts sector, post Coivd-19

https://senedd.wales/laid%20documents/cr-ld13215/cr-ld13215%20-e.pdf


Alison Woods is leading on setting up a Wales Cultural taskforce. Next meeting Mon 20th 12midday. Contact alison@nofitstate.com for info and meeting details.


Webinar wednesdays from The Place artist development

https://www.theplace.org.uk/whats-on/collections/webinar-wednesdays-professionals


Understory is for anyone entering the field of dance, including but not limited to; dance graduates, those who are self-taught and people learning outside of normative structures, at whatever stage in life.

https://www.under-story.com/


An inclusive alliance for the excluded

https://www.excludeduk.org/excluded-uk-an-inclusive-alliance-for-the-excluded


www.pregnantthenscrewed.com Working to end the motherhood penalty. They are taking the government to court for discriminating against women in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)


Season for Change is delighted to launch Common Ground, a programme of four £10,000 commissions for artists, makers or creators, and a professional development programme focused on cultural climate leadership, which is supported by Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. https://www.seasonforchange.org.uk/common-ground-launches/

Fully-funded Phd studentship opportunities including dance research at Coventry university

https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/funded-studentships/


Information for Creatives from Creative Cardiff:

https://www.creativecardiff.org.uk/news/information-creatives-during-covid-19

TIME = MONEY ARTIST BURSARY from National Theatre Wales - Deadline 26th of July.

https://www.nationaltheatrewales.org/opportunities/time-money-artist-bursaries/


Exchange Project (freelancers and furloughed professionals sign up to meet for professional development and artistic growth):

https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/144mHpxketIDul20M55poZDgYrnMYrgf_2agGNqpCSlg/mobilebasic


COVID-19 ‘Routes to Recovery’ Report:

https://www.curtaincallonline.com/storage/app/media/uploaded-files/Routes%20to%20Recovery.pdf


England only info here but may be useful:

https://acre.org.uk/news/2020-06-17-practical-information-to-help-village-halls-reopen-published-by-leading-rural-charity


Free membership to Rural Touring Forum for 1 year:

https://www.ruraltouring.org/


Resources for freelancers by RSC:

https://www.rsc.org.uk/support-for-artists/resources-for-artists-and-freelancers


NODA have been working to support the amateur sector throughout the pandemic. Great organisation:

https://www.noda.org.uk/


National Association of Youth Theatres have some interesting training opportunities:

https://www.nayt.org.uk/


Things you can do, right now:


Respond to The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee Inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on culture, creative industries, heritage, communications and sport

https://business.senedd.wales/mgConsultationdisplay.aspx?Id=397

-We encourage artists to engage with the WHAT NEXT? Zoom meetings so we are hearing from a much more diverse voice within these sessions (see below)

What Next Cymru: Wednesday’s 8.30am

https://twitter.com/WNCardiff

https://whatnextcardiff.wordpress.com/

What Next Valleys: Tuesday’s 9.30am

https://www.facebook.com/groups/214049045673241

CULT CYMRU have been offering some excellent workshops. Info via link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/online/events/

If you feel this is something you would like to add your signature to, here is the Plaid Cymru petition to Welsh Government:: https://www.partyof.wales/support_for_the_arts


More about us:


The Taskforce was formed by a mixture of organisations identifying freelancers and an application process.

Here are links to the letter from Fuel and statistics on the Taskforce:

https://fueltheatre.com/an-open-letter-to-theatre-and-performance-makers/

https://fueltheatre.com/freelance-task-force-representation/

Organisations in Wales which have sponsored a member of the Freelance Taskforce are:

Fio, Hijinx Theatre, National Dance Company Wales, National Theatre Wales, Rubicon Dance, Taking Flight, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Theatr Iolo, Wales Millennium Centre.


Sponsored members of the Freelance Task Force in Wales are:

Sarah Argent, Steffan Donnelly, Garrin Clarke, Jafar Iqbal, Zosia Jo, Angharad Lee, Deborah Light, Krystal Lowe, Mathilde Lopez, Hannah McPake, Gavin Porter, Glesni Price-Jones and Jafar Iqbal.

Contact us:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaskForceCymru

Twitter : https://twitter.com/TaskForceCymru

Email: walesfreelancetaskforce@gmail.com


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