Hiya. How are you?
Here we are in week 24. One theatre I know said that when they closed their doors in mid-March that they expected to shut for 6 weeks. Week 24 and its back to school & the start of a new year for some. Many others remain in isolation. I hope you’re doing okay, if this is you.
I wanted to send you a wee update. This email is a bit of a mix of a sector update (including freelance support and news), company update on our programme in development, & a note of online events that you can sign up to.
It has felt difficult at times over the last few months to begin to plan any future work but slowly, we are moving forwards. Taking small, tentative steps where we can on the shifting sands.
Thanks for supporting IAP.
Support for the performing arts sector in Scotland
Last Friday we heard Nicola Sturgeon & Fiona Hyslop voice their continued support for culture in Scotland. The Cabinet Secretary said that they hope to announce support soon “to help venues but to importantly help freelancers and I’m in active discussion with Creative Scotland and hope to have an announcement soon “that will benefit… Scotland’s strong, vibrant culture sector”. The First Minister said, “Arts & culture are so essential, not just to the economy, but to the health and wellbeing of the country.” I hope an announcement of more cash support for freelancers come soon.
£7.5m has been awarded to 20 Regularly Funded Performing Arts Venues. This fund will allow – 423 jobs to be saved from redundancy, 167 people will be brought back from furlough and 1037 commissions for Freelancers (I’m not sure how ‘commisssions’ or ‘Freelancers’ are being defined in this. I’m assuming the Venues themselves have defined these). A small amount of this funding came from the £97m allocated to arts, culture & heritage in Scotland on 5 July from Westminster. £74.5m still remains unallocated.
Hardship funds on the horizon include: National Theatre of Scotland’s Scenes for Survival Hardship fund for those who have not been able to access government support (opening 12 noon on Monday 31 August), and the Netflix / Sam Mendes / UK Theatre fund reopens for a second round applications at 12 noon on Thursday 10 September.
I’ve said this before, but our freelancers are absolutely vital to everything we do. As a small company… in fact, as a sector, there is no activity that we can complete without our freelancers, myself included. We cannot allow our skilled, experienced and brilliant workforce to diminish. Our sector will be much worse if that happens. We are at huge risk of talent drain.
On the radio yesterday someone called the support that the Performing Arts Sector has received ‘elitism’. How can our sector be the elite if most of our freelance workforce are unpaid and unsupported?
I think we should have:
- Choreographers, Stage Managers & Designers managing how people return to working in physical spaces
- Singers, Storytellers & Live Artists in Nursing homes
- Actors, Dancers & Writers in schools
- Lighting, Composers, Sound, Video Designers & Technicians creating quiet and sensory spaces in ASN schools
- Photographers and Film-makers documenting each process
- Translators, Captioners and Interpreters opening projects up more widely
On that note, I am proud to say that IAP is one of 12 arts organisations calling on the Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure arts and creativity are at the heart of every child’s life.
We believe artists must be embedded in communities reaching children through nurseries, schools, out-of-school care, health and community settings – their unique & diverse skillset, expertise, connections and perspective enriching children’s experiences.
We want to shine a spotlight on the contribution that the arts make to children’s lives – improving health & wellbeing, enriching learning experiences, helping children understand & fulfil their rights, empowering them to influence decision-making & shape communities.
Read the call here: For post-Covid renewal, we need to be radical: here’s how to ensure the arts are truly at the heart of every child’s life.
Link to full newsletter: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=641cec5677113f02f5a18ce6d&id=02aaf7b52f