Posted on: 1st June 2020

As you know, Fuel is working with more than 100 arts organisations and venues to create a Freelance Task Force. If you missed it, you can read the Open Letter to Theatre and Performance Makers here.

We are moving fast to set this up as quickly as we can so that the 70% of the theatre/performance workforce who are self-employed or freelance can be better represented in the conversations to come.

Every organisation is working independently to identify one freelancer who they will pay for one day per week for June, July, and August (13 weeks) to be part of the Freelance Task Force.

Every organisation is using a different process to do this. We are also monitoring representation collectively, via a shared tracker, as we go through these processes, to try to ensure we achieve as much representation across the task force as possible.  Given that we are working at speed and across multiple organisations, it is very likely that there will be gaps in the representation we achieve: we aim to work together to fill these as best we can, and if they are still there when the task force gets up and running, we will also ask the task force for their ideas about how we can continue to improve this. 

We will be transparent about our processes and about the successes and failures of this initiative along the way, and remain open to ideas and provocations. This is an experiment, and we are learning every day. 

Also, in light of recent events, we are extending the deadline for recruitment. We recognise that since this initiative was announced, racial injustice has escalated, and time and energy are being and needs to be spent with, for, and by Black freelancers demanding justice.  

We want to do what we can to ensure that their voices aren’t excluded from the conversations to come. We acknowledge how difficult these times are. This is a small and we hope a practical act of solidarity.  

The deadline for recruitment will now be Thursday 11 June, to enable organisations to extend their searches wider and deeper, coordinate more effectively, and to enable freelancers more time to apply, given the time and energy being dedicated by many to vital anti-racist action.

Thank you to the freelancers who proposed this: we listen and learn from you, as we will listen and learn from the #FreelanceTaskForce in the weeks to come.

If you have questions or ideas about this initiative, please use #FreelanceTaskForce on social media so we can see them and feel free to be in touch with any of the organisations signed up to the letter. Be patient if you do not hear back from us immediately, as many organisations involved are facing financial challenges and working with reduced staffing due to furloughs. Thank you for understanding. We look forward to hearing from you.