🔥 Burn it Down – Radical Task Force Working Group 🔥

This group exists as a place for discourse and challenge. We ask ourselves: what if we burned it all down and started again?

Everything is on the table.

‘Burning it down’ doesn’t mean some childlike arson, with naughty, wilful freelancers chucking a match and running off, tittering. It means we understand that the problems in the sector are systemic; they have not been caused by any person or persons or even the pandemic, but, rather, the pandemic conditions demonstrate so starkly the systems, power structures, and inherited thinking that has produced an area of work that, though vibrant, vital and full of possibility, continues to perpetuate discrimination, injustice, and harm. This system does need to be burned down – and rebuilt with the imagination, criticality and care well cultivated in us as creative practitioners.

In this group we work with these attributes. We have gatherings every eight-ten days via Zoom, facilitated in a format that first foregrounds wellbeing and a holistic meeting between people, and then focuses on actions the group members are taking. Some people come most times, others have merely dipped in occasionally. The actions each person takes is autonomous, but these meetings have facilitated new alliances and colleagialities, and have enabled focussed, deliberate, and supportive discussion, invigorating a range of individual and collaborative outputs. We speak openly about our difficulties, listen to each other, and help one another seek solutions where appropriate.

This is supported by a lively and friendly WhatsApp group. People ask each other for proofreading, let off steam about difficult conversations, and altogether support one another. Though many of us were strangers, we are becoming friends, in a friendship based on the radical care necessary to burn down the wreckage – not mercilessly but indeed with much energy – and work for something much, much better.

🔥 What We’ve Been Up To 🔥

Below is some of the work that has been generated out of this group

A Freelance Supporters Menu

Laura Sweeney, Ash Bowmott, et al.

During our time so far on the Freelance Task Force, we’ve worked to collate ‘A Freelance Supporters Menu’ to reflect some of the thinking and research that could offer provocations to arts organisations to think about how freelancers can be supported. The link includes a video introduction (with captions) and a download link for version 1. It will be updated at the end of FTF.

Workshop for organisations to think about redistributing power and resource

Gillie Kleiman et al.

Gillie Kleiman et al.
Click the title to be taken to the UBI Lab Arts Twitter

Governance Reform (inc. Board Bank)

Emma Jayne, Leo Wan

🔥 Who is in the working group and what are they working on? 🔥

Here are some of the members of this group below, more soon..

🔥 Leo Wan

Sponsor: Royal Shakespeare Company

Website: www.rsc.org.uk/freelance-task-force

Twitter: @leomarcuswan

Working on: Accessibility,
Governance Reform, Representation & Diversity, Political Lobbying, Campaigning, UBI

🔥 Dais Hale

Sponsor: Camden People’s Theatre

Website: www.the-hale.com

Twitter: @daisthehale

Working on:  Freelance Producer support in the subsidised sector, better representation, ACE funding transparency and accessibility, LTC Point of contact, Agency Scales

🔥 Gillie Kleiman

Sponsor: Jerwood Arts

Website: gilliekleiman.com

Twitter: @gilliekleiman

Working on: UBI, redistribution, supporting others

🔥 Kate O’Connor

Sponsor: Frozen Light

Website: www.kateoconnor.co.uk

Twitter: @K2themountain

Working on: Buddy System, mental health, alternative models, UBI

🔥 Laura Sweeney

Sponsor: The Yard

Website: the-uncultured.com

Twitter: @_theuncultured_ // @laurajsweeney

Working on: A Freelance Supporters Menu, artist and arts worker development, redistribution, Freelance Producer support in the subsidised sector.

🔥 Ashleigh Bowmott

Sponsor: The Yard

Website: the-uncultured.com

Twitter: @_theuncultured_ // @ashbowmott

Working on: A Freelance Supporters Menu, artist and arts worker development, redistribution, Freelance Producer support in the subsidised sector.

🔥 Lily Einhorn

Sponsor: Theatre Royal Stratford East

Twitter: @madewithstring

Working on: A home for freelancers, supporting others – particularly in the community and participatory arts sector, redistribution, representation.

🔥 Vijay Patel

Sponsor: Artsadmin

Website: www.vijaypateltheatre.co.uk

Twitter: @vijayrajpatel92

Working on: Making the case to better support neurodivergent freelancers, support to black, brown, people of colour, neurodivergent folk on applications.

🔥 Emma Jayne Park

Sponsor: National Theatre of Scotland

Website:  https://culturedmongrel.org

Twitter: @culturedmongrel

Working on: Board Reformation, Freelancer Pay Formulas, Communication Mapping, Facilitating non-hierarchical spaces and a set of game based Mental Health provocations for employers.

🔥 Amy Clare Tasker

Sponsor: The Cockpit

Website: www.amyclaretasker.com

Twitter: @AmyClareTasker

Working on: visual mapping of the activities & initiatives of the Freelance Task Force. Advocating for non-hierarchical models like Open Space and rhizomatic organisation.

🔥 Paula Varjack

Sponsor: Battersea Arts Centre

Website: www.paulavarjack.com

Twitter: @PaulaVarjack

Working on: Guidance/Provocations for better/more ethical ways of recruiting artists / Better representation of marginalised groups in performing arts

🔥 Beth Sitek

Sponsor: Boundless Theatre

Website:  www.bethsitek.com

Twitter: @bethsitek

Working on: Better support for Early Career Artists from orgs and venues, guidance on more ethical recruitment and application processes. Suggestions for orgs and venues on how artists can be supported now before buildings are fully reopen and advocacy for independent producers in the subsided sector. 

🔥 Lora Krasteva

Sponsor: LIFT

Twitter: @lorakrasteva

Working on: better representation of and support for migrants in theatre; equitable decision making tools and philosophy; working before returning to full audiences recommendations; models of long-term funding for individuals; UBI 

🔥 Hannah Stone

Sponsor: Nottingham Playhouse

Twitter: @hannahlucystone

Working on: Supporting freelancers with project grants, organising meetings with freelancers and venues to hear from freelancers- What do you need to do your best work, working with the producers group and TYA group and generally pitching in.

🔥 Victor Esses

Sponsor: artsdepot

Website:  www.victoresses.com

Twitter: @vhesses

Working on: better representation for marginalised groups, accountability, support for artists before full audiences, increasing freelancers engagement in buildings.