You can read the intro blog post here, or listen to it on the
Soundcloud playlist at the bottom of this page, along with a
voice recorded version of the 'Freelance Supporters Menu'.
(ORGANISATION SPONSOR EDITION)
VERSION TWO - SEPTEMBER 2020
The Freelance Task Force was set up to strengthen the influence of freelancers, amplifying the voice of this majority workforce and creating better, more sustainable, more equitable relationships between freelancers and organisations in the theatre industry.
This menu has been designed for organisations to choose ways that they will commit to supporting freelancers and the wider sector in the long and short term. It provides a series of provocations, collated from some of the research emerging from individuals on the Freelance Task Force and will be offered for consideration to the Freelance Task Force sponsors first, before being disseminated nationwide. As a Freelance Task Force sponsor, you have already signalled your commitment to the majority workforce. This menu offers a series of thought exercises to direct your action following your commitment.
This is one of a plethora of documents to be compiled during the Freelance Task Force, and is one seen through the eyes of those who have pulled it together - Ashleigh Bowmott and Laura Sweeney of The Uncultured. That means it is not a comprehensive assessment of all of the work to have taken place. There is more information available on other Freelance Task Force work at freelancetaskforce.co.uk.
This is a living document that will point to some of the work that was and continues to be undertaken by members of the Freelance Task Force throughout summer 2020. This is version two.
There are “big ticket items” which offer provocations to support you in making purposeful decisions to lead your organisation with imagination for the long term improvement of working conditions for everyone.
There are also “small ticket items” which will enable you to proactively participate in change with some short term improvements. These will incrementally enable fairer practices across the sector.
You might also choose a pick and mix of some or all of these menu options. We recommend that you consider at least one big ticket item, and at least three small ticket items to get you started. For example you might choose “Access” as a big ticket item, and then “Anti-Racist Practices and Accountability”, “Management” and “Redistributing Organisational Funds” as small ticket items. Consider each of the provocations within these sections, refer to the further reading, and source some extra reading of your own.
We encourage you to put aside some time to work with the freelancer you have been sponsoring to discuss these ideas in depth. This time will need further remuneration if the contract you had with that person has ended. They can act as your expert, a critical friend, who can then signpost you to others who can support you in particular areas that will strengthen your business with the majority workforce at its core. Those who are conducted this research within the Freelance Task Force want to support your exploration and implementation of this organisational development. They need to be paid to do so.
All of these options are anchored in kindness and freelancers are watching your moves with compassion. Some of these menu options will be difficult to work through, but we encourage you to think through why some of them might make you feel uncomfortable and push into that. In this world-shifting time, place everything on the table without assumptions and rigorously critique your practice. Ask others in your organisation to contemplate this menu, ask peers who can support you in making brilliant albeit difficult decisions. Consider what it will mean for you to make bold and radical moves for the benefit of more people as you are part of shaping the next practice of theatre.
This document has been compiled by Ashleigh Bowmott and Laura Sweeney of The Uncultured with input from Beccy D’Souza, Lily Einhorn, Victor Esses, Daisy Hale, Gillie Kleiman, Polly Jerrold, Lora Krasteva, Kate O’Connor, Rachel Mars, Emma Jayne Park, Beth Sitek, Paula Varjack and Leo Wan of the “Burn it Down - Radical Task Force Working Group”. It mentions the work of a plurality of voices from the Freelance Task Force.