Across the Freelance Task Force and through discussions with Freelancers from a variety of specialisms, there have been tangible steps forward in making positive changes to the arts sector.
The 7 Freelance Task Force Working Points
Working within an online Open Space forum has provided the opportunity for Task Force representatives to work collaboratively and to discuss problems, test ideas and establish solutions. One proposed step towards a better future in the arts is the new initiative within the National Freelance Task Force: The 7 Freelance Task Force Working Points.
The main agenda in setting these 7 Working Points is to ensure that Freelancers across the sector are supported, not exploited. The specific points are still under construction and yet to be crystallised, so more information is to follow!
Other proposals of action points are things such as creating a Support Document for buildings and organisations that highlights examples of best practice in the sector. This document would be supported by the data collected by Task Force representatives expressing what Freelancers need to work effectively.
As well as collaborating with other Freelance Task Force representatives nationally and regionally, I have been in conversation with various GM Artists Hub members with the intention of holding events for discussions with a wider range of Freelancers. These sessions will include myself and other Freelance Task Force representatives from across Greater Manchester. Further dates and agendas of these events will be confirmed shortly.
Setting up a Network
As a consequence of being a Task Force representative, I have participated in various discussions and meetings. Something that has become clear from the discussions so far is that Early Career Artists and Practitioners, those about to enter the profession and Freelancers unable to access industry or government support are feeling alone. People have expressed a feeling of isolation, alongside the uncertainty of what will happen to the sector.
From this, we thought we could establish a network, somewhere that Emerging Artists and Early Career Practitioners could connect with each other, seek advice and discover amazing opportunities.
Therefore, the Facebook group: ‘Early Career Artists & Practitioners Network’ has been created. This will offer an open space of networking across the industry for Emerging Artists and Early Career Practitioners to share recourses, concerns and opportunities. We hope that this becomes a self-sustaining group allowing for support and kindness across freelancers within the sector.
And just before you finish reading, I have another way for you to get involved and get creative!
Creative Consultation Session
I will be holding another Zoom session on Thursday 30 July. In this session I will explore and discuss some of the Task Force progressions, but most importantly allow a space for Creative Expressions. Within the session I will offer a stimulus for you to respond to in any creative form of expression that you choose! Because after all, we are creatives. It’s what we do.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate! – First come first served.
Background to the Freelance Taskforce
On Thursday 21 May 2020 a group of performing arts organisations, including producing companies and venues, jointly signed a letter in support of the freelancers who make up a large and vital part of the ecology of the performance sector.
The letter had 3 main aims:
• To listen and respond to the needs of freelancers in the performing arts
• To call for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme to be extended in line with furloughing and until theatres can reopen in earnest
• To establish a Freelance Task Force of self-employed theatre and performance makers.
Each organisation signing up to the letter has committed to paying a freelancer for one day a week throughout June, July and August to join the Freelance Task Force.
We are proud to be a signatory of this open letter to theatre and performance makers, alongside many of our peers across the UK, and we fully support the creation of a #FreelanceTaskForce.