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Blog 4: Wales Freelance Survey, Green Rooms, and more!

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

Welcome!


Who are we?

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 - see below. 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/ - re-opening 3rd August

What we’ve done this week:


Launched the Wales Freelance Survey:


In our conversations with organisations and freelancers we identified a lack of data about the number, specialisms, and location of freelancers working in theatre and performance in Wales. This data will enable us to make a better case to the government and with organisations for support and future recovery.


This survey:

  • is a first step towards greater awareness of our specific situation in Wales

  • is for any freelancer working in theatre and performance in Wales.

  • takes 5-10 minutes to complete.


Your answers are completely anonymous, and no personally identifiable information is collected. The deadline for responses is: Friday 7th August 2020.


Please complete the survey and send it to your freelance networks!


www.freelance.wales


There's no data about us. Be part of the solution!


A complementary survey by unions will be published soon which focuses on the wider creative industries, and we will both make our data widely available.


Hosted Green Rooms (our open conversations) - and hosting more! :

Our ‘Green Room’ initiative is aimed at capturing the voices, opinions and ideas of freelancers across the sector in Wales. These sessions will feed into further more detailed consultations and also allow us to create a first hand account to reflect the voices of freelancers that are so often unheard. These accounts will back up any policy changes and radical ideas that we propose in our future work.

  • Green Rooms are an open invitation to discuss your current situation and look to the future, and will take place via zoom, facilitated by a member of the Taskforce.

  • Each Green Room will have a specific topic or target audience.

  • The cost of access requirements to attend Green Rooms will be covered by Wales Freelance Taskforce

Next week, we are hosting the following Green Rooms for:


Lighting Designers - Monday 27th July @ 2pm.

Garrin Clarke will host the first for lighting designers, on Monday 27th July at 2pm.

Registration link:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtdumvpz0jG9TJrCW-DWYy5WarxAM7sNuA?fbclid=IwAR2diqcZv-fz2DUpYAEyvopEKxsqO7NZVEnAzGFDCFOWMQh6y1ePtEw6W68


Stage Managers - Wednesday 29th July @ 2pm.

Garrin's second conversation will be for stage managers, on Wednesday 19th July at 2pm.

Registration link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMpceqhqjotGNGd_dtYgPyig9TsndtU8spK


Pregnant People and New Parents - Thursday 30th July @ 10am

Please join Glesni Price-Jones who is hosting this session to hear from new parents and those who are currently pregnant and therefore likely to be returning to a very different industry after giving birth. The aim of the session is to share your concerns and experiences, how the different government schemes and ACW funds have been accessible or not to you and consider how the industry might be made more suitable for new parents in the future. Gathering your experiences, ideas and opinions will allow us to bring them to the table and highlight the very real problems being experienced by freelancers at this time in their lives.

To join, send us a quick email: walesfreelancetaskforce@gmail.com



Following this week’s meeting exploring Theatre for Young Audiences (see below) Sarah Argent and Hannah McPake are developing a Green Room for TYA freelancers working in Wales. Details to be announced next week.


Over 30 freelance dance artists attended the Dance/Wales Green Room on 16th July, the Wales dance subgroup are actioning points emerging from that meeting.


Participated in the following meetings and conversations:


We are meeting with Arts Council Wales this Friday - our key points are:

  1. Welsh Government financial settlement. We are looking for a commitment of 25-30% of any settlement go to freelancers

  2. An open discussion about the positives and areas to be built upon when it comes to any further stabilisation grants

  3. What are APW’s responsibilities for freelancers during this period?

  4. Consultation and transparency as we rebuild and recover.

Next week's blog will give you information on the outcomes of this initial meeting.


Hosted a Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Meeting:


Sarah Argent hosted and Hannah McPake facilitated a meeting of almost 40 freelancers from across England and Wales who work in Theatre for Young Audiences. A wide range of designers, performers, writers, directors, producers, stage managers were asked to answer two questions:

  1. What do you need as a freelancer to do your best work?

  2. What do you need as a freelancer to creatively empower you - to make you feel valued?

The frank, fascinating and sometimes surprising answers will be collated and distributed and used to form the agenda of further meetings and discussions and a code of good practice for working with freelancers. If you are a freelancer working in Theatre for Young Audiences in Wales, please send your answers to these questions to sargentargent65@gmail.com.


Other meetings include:


Members of the Taskforce attended Equity Welsh National Committee Meeting, What Next Cardiff, Wales Cultural Taskforce.


Members of the Taskforce attended the Industry Meeting: Creative Industries Federation. An interesting meeting highlighting that with the responsibility of protecting public health there comes and economic responsibility.


Members of the Taskforce attended the What Next Cardiff weekly event where Gerwyn Evans (Deputy director of Creative Wales) and Steffan Roberts gave an update on the Welsh Government's position on the £59 million promised. We are still awaiting clarification.


Deborah participated in the UK freelance task force dance meeting with Chris Stenton from People Dancing and asked about their plans to offer guidance for participatory dance activity along the lines of those they have released for England. They are intending to do this and have been part of consultation on re-opening guidance in Wales.

Glesni has been meeting one on one with freelancers to discuss how the SEISS is affecting new mothers and parents ahead of an open green room next week. Details below.


Angharad Lee hosted a meeting with artists/creatives who work in or are based in Rhondda Cynon Taff. The turn out was positive and the discussions centred around a lack of knowledge about who the freelancers are within this area. Angharad will be proposing creating a map of sorts to map freelancers within RCT. She is discussing this idea with a number of people atm. There was an obvious lack of knowledge from many about the ACW grants available to them during the current crisis. Angharad fed this information back to the What Next Valleys meeting. We are looking to build on these conversations and action some achievable point of focus.

Angharad attended the #ResiliArts session. She urges anyone who needs some inspiration to get involved. Wonderful session.

Launched a well-being project:


A wellbeing project has been born from conversations had with actors and Angharad is delivering this along with an associate artist of Leeway Productions, Becky Davies. If any actors need support atm, please feel free to get in touch and we will work to deliver a second round of this project. Email : leewayprods@gmail.com


We forgot to take a Zoom photo this week, but Glesni and Steffan have provided this instead. They are the first Taskforce members to meet in person (socially distanced!) since our formation. They are very pleased to be more than a few pixels on a screen:


Useful Links / Info:


Directors Network meeting for ‘emerging directors’: 3 - 4.30pm on Tuesday 28th July.

For more details or to attend contact: jacifanmoore@gmail.com.

National Dance Company Wales have released an opportunity for freelance choreographers to participate in their Laboratori in the Autumn.

https://ndcwales.co.uk/index.php/freelance-opportunity-laboratori-choreographers

Ffilm Cymru’s Ffolio Commissions are open for application http://www.ffilmcymruwales.com/index.php/en/film-makers/ffolio

One Dance UK have a series of ‘Returning to dance’ webinars

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

Cult Cymru Q&A Session on Risk Assessments - Covid 19

29th of July

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holi-ac-ateb-asesu-risg-covid-19-qa-assessing-risks-tickets-113363840298

Cult Cymru - Mastering Google Drive digital course

28th of July

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meistroli-google-drivemastering-google-drive-saesnegenglish-registration-113329178624

Diverse Cymru: All Our Stories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQxWdmTELSY&feature=youtu.be

Ty Pawb are looking for works to be considered for their exhibition: An Exhibition Celebrating Lockdown Creativity https://www.typawb.wales/ty-pawb-open/

The Privilege Cafe continues every Thursday. Email them for a link : https://www.patreon.com/PrivilegeCafe

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:

Connor Allen, Shakeera Ahmun, Sarah Argent, Steffan Donnelly, Garrin Clarke, Jafar Iqbal, Zosia Jo, Angharad Lee, Deborah Light, Krystal Lowe, Mathilde Lopez, Anthony Matsena, Hannah McPake and Glesni Price-Jones.


Contact us

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

Twitter : https://twitter.com/TaskForceCymru

Email: walesfreelancetaskforce@gmail.com

Survey: freelance.wales

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