Blog 6: Launching 'Our Voice': Experiences of Black Artists in Wales
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. Welcome to our weekly blog!
If any freelancer needs financial support right now please visit:
https://www.trtf.com/fleabag-support-fund - fund closes today, 7th August.
What we’ve done this week:
Our Voice: Collecting the Experience of Welsh and Wales-based Black Artists
After noticing the continued lack of space for Black artists to share their lived experiences within the Wales-based sector Krystal S. Lowe has decided to use her role on the Freelance Taskforce to collect and share the lived experiences of Welsh and Wales-based Black artists.
This collection will be compiled to ensure the voices of those who are most left out are finally heard by the sector.
In the wake of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, and based on the sector's response, Krystal would like to use this collective letter to ensure that as the sector goes forward to become more diverse that it is also a healthy environment for Black artists - for those coming into the sector as well as respecting the fervent work and valued contribution Black artists have already made to the sector.
This letter, once completed, will go into the UK-wide Zine that will be published and distributed at the end of the Taskforce time as well as distributed to all Wales-based freelancers and organisations working in the arts sector.
If you are a Black artist and would like your experiences to be a part of this letter then please contact Krystal at Krystalslowe.firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories in whatever way you feel most comfortable - by email, handwritten letter, voice note, or contact Krystal if you prefer to call, Zoom or text.
Written to Welsh Government for more details on the £53m Culture Recovery Fund and the so-called ‘Cultural Contract’.
Our letter (click here to view) asks for a minimum of 25-30% of this fund to go to individual freelancers in need, with specific conditions removed to make it easier and more streamlined. As we understand it, the individuals fund will be managed by the government, and we are encouraging them to make theatre and performer freelancers eligible for this fund (rather than expecting funds to ‘trickle down’ to individuals from grants given to organisations, which is managed by Arts Council Wales). We have emphasised the important role freelancers will play in society’s recovery, particularly in relation to the Future Generations Act. We are awaiting a response.
Wales Freelance Survey:
The Survey will close at midnight tomorrow! Thank you to everyone who have submitted their responses. We have had over 400 respondents so far and will be crunching the data to produce a report very soon.
If you haven’t responded to the Survey yet, you still have time!
Data on freelancers in Wales is more important than ever. The data will help our case as the small details of the fund is being finalised. Please share our Wales Freelancers Survey on your networks, and complete it yourself if you haven’t already.
- 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: Midnight Friday 7th August 2020.
Provisional data so far paints an alarming picture, and we can use these statistics to identify and leverage support for those most in need:
95% have lost work due to Covid-19
30% haven’t received any financial support
40% are not sure if they’ll stay or will leave the industry (from the comments: many who hope to stay in the industry are likely to leave Wales).
Useful Links / Info:
One Dance UK have a series of ‘Returning to dance’ webinars
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 (DEADLINE IS TODAY, FRIDAY 7 AUGUST): An Exhibition Celebrating Lockdown Creativity https://www.typawb.wales/ty-pawb-open/
National Dance Company Wales have released an opportunity for freelance choreographers to participate in their Laboratori in the Autumn (DEADLINE IS TODAY, FRIDAY 7 AUGUST).
Ffilm Cymru’s Ffolio Commissions are open for application (DEADLINE IS TODAY, FRIDAY 7 AUGUST). http://www.ffilmcymruwales.com/index.php/en/film-makers/ffolio
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:
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.
Twitter : https://twitter.com/TaskForceCymru