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Joyce Omotola on #freelancetaskforce

In this ever-changing climate, it is easy to make a companion of great uncertainty. As a freelancer this isn’t something new. Wondering when your next job will be – how long you will be employed for. There is an unquestionable risk factor attached to being a creative freelancer. However, it is also immensely rewarding.

On Monday the 16th of March, it was announced that our creative hubs would temporarily close in order to tackle the fast growth of coronavirus across the country.

Leaving a large amount of artists feeling helpless, 70% of our theatre and performance sector are freelancers or self-employed. Many of whom now find themselves with very little support and a bag full of anxieties. The government’s response to their financial need has been deemed unsatisfactory by many. Like many other creatives, Covid has made me question whether or not this is a sustainable career choice. Covid will, unfortunately mean many people will be forced to reconsider their position as a freelancer.

 As an Actor, Writer and Co-founder of the Black Female owned, production company Lunar Entertainment Ltd, I have formulated a habit of alternating between a freelancer seeking advice and a source of information for artists who come to Lunar Ltd for insight.I decided to join the task. force, particularly for this reason – to continue to extend information and guidance to those who require it, to be part of an active, solution seeking network. A body, that empathises with freelances and also seeks to destroy wage disparities, inequality within the arts, and move towards lobbying the government to prioritise freelancers and their needs. 

Yet the task force initiative is not solely for spreading information and pushing for change. It also allows space for freelancers to find refuge in each other. Building a community of creatives who are interconnected because of their individual passions for the arts. The freelance task force is a force to be reckoned with and I’m very excited to be a part of such a watershed moment within our industry. It is my hope that the #freelancetaskforce will strongly influence the new form the arts sector will take as we navigate through the recovery period. 

Let us all keep an eye out for each other. Our craft is built on community. 

Theatre Peckham are proud to be signatories on an open letter to Theatre and Performance makers in the uk. You can read and Listen to the letter here