Weekly Roundup! 3rd July 2020
Hello! 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. We are also collaborating with organisations with similar aims to ours on our collective near-term goal of government action and financial support for freelancers.
How we were formed?
We were formed by a mixture of organisations identifying freelancers and an application process. We are being paid for 13 days work, some of us are job sharing. 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:
Sarah Argent, Steffan Donnelly, Garrin Clarke, Zosia Jo, Angharad Lee, Deborah Light, Krystal Lowe, Mathilde Lopez, Hannah McPake, Gavin Porter, Glesni Price-Jones.
Twitter : https://twitter.com/TaskForceCymru
If any freelancer needs financial support right now please visit:
What we’ve done so far:
Taskforce members have taken part in 2 meetings of the National Taskforce, met with SOLT/UK Theatre, Equity, Arts Council England, spoken with freelancers, agreed a meeting with Arts Council Wales, joined subgroups - including WalesCymru, Theatre for young audiences, FreelanceTaskForce Dance and Parents and Carers and are in conversations with venues and policy makers across Wales.
We are meeting with freelancers across Wales to hear and act on problems and suggestions. We are soon to meet with Arts Council Wales to discuss action and planning. Creu Cymru working groups for reopening will be happening soon and they will also ensure a freelancer is present and paid for their time. We are offering support through sharing resources (see below) and collaborating with organisations with similar aims, ensuring a unified voice in Wales.
We have written an open letter asking Arts Portfolio Wales organisations and other organisations for funds so that we (the Wales taskforce members) can pay freelancers to be in dialogue with us. In particular we want to be able to pay people who would otherwise be unable to engage in this conversation or get their voice heard: please get in touch if you need this or know someone who does on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things we’re exploring:
The Senedd is not consulting an industry Task Force - we have concerns about this and have gathered some momentum in rectifying this. More info soon.
Freelancers still falling through the SEISS payment gaps. We will be pushing Welsh Government on this.
Changing the status of Artists - looking at UBI/French model of intermittent status/revenue status for individuals from ACW.
Reimagining the landscape post COVID - Focus on inclusion and Diversity. Is it time for a National Arts Service?
Theatre for Young People and the importance of Participatory Arts - Joined up Campaign - Lead Creative Schools.
Current landscape is Cardiff Centric - Major issue across Wales is lack of spaces which makes the whole sector very competitive. Wales is a collection of towns. Our ecology must start to recognise this.
Impact on Welsh language theatre practitioners and artists.
Working on ways of gathering Wales-specific data on freelancers.
Model of best working practice between Freelancers and Organisations.
Pregnancy and Caring responsibilities - how do we ensure that we don’t lose women from the workforce during this time?
When will ACW open grant applications and what will they look like?
Should the Wales Taskforce exist after this 13 week period and become a long term organisation to support the needs and rights of Freelancers working in the arts in Wales? How do we recruit for this?
What are we doing next?
We will keep you informed on social media and our weekly blog as to how our work on the above points develop over the coming weeks.
We will approach the Artistic Directors of Wales’ venues to ensure that when they have their meeting a Task Force member is present so that our voice is considered equally within buildings and organisations.
We are keen to have more open dialogues with freelancers in Wales. It helps us represent your specific concerns and gives us an opportunity to meet to share ideas. We will be launching the Green Room initiative next week - online meeting spaces for multiple groups of 10 freelancers to get together with the Taskforce to discuss pressing issues.. Groups will be accessible, and in English and Welsh. There will be more information on how to sign up next week on this blog and social media!
Here are some prompts to get you thinking about what you need right now and moving forward. Let us know what you need by joining one of our Green Rooms (more info on social media next week) or emailing us directly on: email@example.com
What are the practical things you need now?
What is the best way to get money to you?
How should governments & organisations assess who needs help?
How are you going to recover from this? What does your recovery need to look like to keep you engaged in the sector?
What do you need to ensure your wellbeing is put front and centre?
Link to Zosia’s public blog re. Basic income https://www.zosiajo.com/post/who-get-s-to-be-artists?fbclid=IwAR0_cZOR1aOELhAyyWm-0LRw2dWMzc4NqGoMX7mDIeGLYz4VVgB32m1Onco
Senedd Report on Impact of Covid19 on arts sector: https://senedd.wales/laid%20documents/cr-ld13215/cr-ld13215%20-e.pdf
Things you can do, right now: Write to your MP
Link to senedd culture consultation https://business.senedd.wales/mgConsultationDisplay.aspx?id=397&RPID=1017868642&cp=yes
Link to ask from arts council for input https://arts.wales/news-jobs-opportunities/arts-council-wales-invites-ideas-on-post-lockdown-future
OPPORTUNITIES: Theatr Clwyd are looking for North Wales based facilitators for paid work over the summer:
Wales Culture Race TaskForce:
Taskforce’s Green Rooms (more information next week).
FREE ONLINE RESOURCES AND COURSES :
Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resource: https://www.freelanceartistresource.com/
Freelancers Make Theatre Work: https://www.freelancersmaketheatrework.com/
Support during Coronavirus: https://theatresupport.info/
Great free events/workshops with SPACE: https://space.org.uk/
For Designers: https://www.scene-change.com/
Looks interesting: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/construction-as-theatre-tickets-108668502416
Participatory practice: https://www.involve.org.uk/resources/methods?show=pager&page=0%2C0