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Theatre Green Book Forum
The body is an archive. It remembers everything – even the things that the head forgets.
Heather Agyepong’s powerful new solo performance The Body Remembers, explores how trauma lives in the body, particularly for Black British women across different generations.
Through a unique and compelling relationship between the audience and artist, it creates a collective cathartic experience.
Created and performed by multidisciplinary artist and actor Heather Agyepong, the show features interviews of Black British women in trauma recovery.
“To give love to our inner selves we must first give attention, recognition and acceptance. Having let ourselves know that we will not be punished for acknowledging who we are or what we feel we can name the problems we see” – bell hooks, author of Sisters of the Yam: Black Women & Self-Recovery.
The performance is inspired by the therapeutic practice of Authentic Movement with Agyepong as The Mover and the audience as The Witness. Dynamic projections and an immersive soundscape help the audience re-discover the power of self-reflection as the start of recovery and healing. Co-created by Imogen Knight (movement) and Gail Babb (dramaturgy), The Body Remembers creates a space for audience and artist to attend to themselves and each other.
The Body Remembers by Fuel
Campaigns & Partnerships
Introduction & Aims of the Survey
The Chancellor’s announcement of £1.57 billion to tackle the crisis facing the arts is welcome both in its recognition of the importance of this industry and its potential to help a recovery. However, we want to ensure that the independent theatre sector is considered in these decisions, both the challenges facing the sector as well as the important creative contribution. The independent sector has the potential to start making work soon and are able to reach communities throughout the country. This survey aimed to explore that potential and assess what support would be needed to enable it.
The report of the survey can be viewed here
Statement from ITC CEO Charlotte Jones
Thank you to the ITC members from throughout the UK and across the broad diversity of our membership who have responded to this survey. It has given us an illuminating snapshot of the sector at this extraordinary time and provided us with vital intelligence to inform our advocacy and strengthen our practical support for the sector. We have chosen to make the many of the detailed responses available in this summary report because our members have so powerfully articulated their position and statistics don’t always convey the picture so strongly.
Some of the standout statistics for us are that only 34% of respondents received emergency funding. Over half of the workers in this sector are currently furloughed and 42% of organisations expect to be making job cuts when that scheme comes to an end this Autumn.
Interestingly over half of respondents have continued to make and disseminate work either digitally or outdoors. 79% of respondents have increased their reach by this means. Most however have been providing this work for free and it is obviously not sustainable long term.
Touring is the life-blood of this sector. It has been described by many as an already broken infrastructure and there are serious concerns about how it will revive in the future. Shared risk-taking by venues will be vital to its revival.
This sector has suffered from a steep decline in core-funding for many years and a continuing reduction in project funds available. It has worked hard to generate more earned income over the past years and obviously the pandemic has brought this to a sharp standstill. This sector has the potential to revitalise its communities, is already doing important work and will require significant support to mitigate the losses it has suffered. That support will go a long way though if targeted strategically at theatre makers and artists.
The independent sector offers energy, imagination, value for money and hope for the future if properly recognised and supported. We would strongly welcome further responses to this survey. I hope you find it interesting reading.
Charlotte Jones, ITC CEO
Statement from The Chair of the ITC Board, Ali King
“Thanks to all the ITC members that were able to fill out the survey, it has shown a very interesting snapshot of the problems our sector face as a result of COVID. It clearly shows what support and help we need.
I am constantly impressed by the ongoing resilience and inventiveness of our sector and the care and consideration we show to one another.
This survey will be really useful for the team at ITC to disseminate and use to help the sector. To target areas for improvement and carry on co-ordinating a voice supporting the sectors needs and concerns. I know it has been awhile since we have all been able to come together but ITC remains as always here to help, advise and listen to its members”
Ali King, Chair of ITC
“Who is curating the culture? Predominantly it is white, middle-class men.” David Oyelowo
How many people of colour are running publicly funded theatre organisations in England? Not many. It’s time for a change.
tiata fahodzi have brought together companies whose collective missions represent a rich, multicultural and modern Britain – Freedom Studios, Talawa Theatre Company and 20 Stories High – to stage an intervention and lead the change.
Supported by the Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre programme, Artistic Director Leadership Programme is a unique training opportunity for future theatre leaders. The programme comprises two initiatives:
- Trainee Artistic Director
- Leaders of Tomorrow
Trainee Artistic Director programme provides four paid, two year, full-time traineeships for experienced theatre directors. Trainees are resident at one of the partner theatres, working closely with the artistic director of their host organisation. Participants will gain an exceptional opportunity to take part in and contribute to the daily life of running a theatre company.
Leaders of Tomorrow is both a bespoke leadership development programme and a collective of theatre practitioners of colour. Not just for directors, this opportunity is for anyone who wants to lead a theatre company or building; this could be theatre makers, writers, producers, actors, administrators, designers, dramaturgical or literary practitioners or movement directors. Leaders of Tomorrow includes a wide range of free training opportunities that will take place in two hubs based in Manchester and Watford.
Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of tiata fahodzi said, “we believe that the future of theatre leadership should look and feel different, that is why, with our partners, we delighted to announce the launch of this ground-breaking programme.”
ITC are proud to be running the training sessions for this important initiative, spearheaded by four of our members tiata fahodzi, Freedom Studios, Talawa Theatre Company and 20 Stories High and supported by Regional Theatres Young Directors Scheme.
For further information and to apply for Artistic Director Leadership Programme go to www.adleadership.co.uk
ITC is actively involved in What Next? – a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society. We want to engage the public in new and different conversations about how and why the arts are important, and become a catalyst for fresh thinking and new policy ideas.
A growing number of locally based What Next? groups are forming across the UK. Click here to find out more
We, The Independent Theatre Council declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency
We pledge to work with and support our community and local government in tackling this Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
These are our intentions:
1. We will tell the Truth
Governments, and their public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change.
We will communicate with citizens and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.
2. We will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
We pledge to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero* by 2025.
We will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where we interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels.
We will actively work to imagine and model ways that my practice / our organisation can regenerate the planet’s resources.
3. We are committed to Justice
The emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Arts and Culture can imagine and forge shifts in the ways we relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours.
We will do what is possible to enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed.
We will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government.
We believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice based on intersectional principles*, led by and for marginalised people.
The Family Arts Campaign is a large scale, national collaborative programme led by ITC and a number of other partner organisations. It provides training, resources and marketing opportunities for the performing and visual arts sectors, in order to increase levels of arts engagement by families.
During its first three years the Campaign has provided training to over 1,000 arts professionals, reached over 1 million families through its annual Family Arts Festival, and enabled 350 arts organisations to highlight their commitment to families through its Family Arts Standards quality mark.
To see how the campaign can help you visit familyarts.co.uk
Blog and News
Alison King (ITC Chair) – Turtle Key Arts My out of office is on, yet here I am still working, I think that probably sums up this year for so many, not just me. I know that when January hit this year I was geared up for a return to our office and to see […]
What happened? When lockdown happened in March 2020 many theatres and companies rushed to put existing performance recordings online, especially shows that had closed early due to the pandemic. Concessions to do this were agreed with the unions (for a period of time up to six months after theatres re-opened). Initially a slew of this online theatre […]
Having just gone through a recruitment process at ITC I have been reflecting on the current state of recruitment and retention in independent theatre. We were fortunate that our recent recruitment process generated some strong applications, and we were able to make an excellent appointment from it. However, the number of applications was significantly lower […]
2 years in the making, I write this blog on the brink of sending our new website and logo into the world, and what an eye-opening process it has been! This is my second time working on a development like this, yet I never fail to be surprised by the in-depth explorative process and the […]
This last year, we have seen the arts hit very hard, venues forced to close, tours cancelled, rehearsals stopped. We have seen employees made redundant, some freelancers left unsupported by the government and much more that has been hard to bear and see. Alongside all of this we are beginning to see the impact of […]
Lockdown hit just as we were embarking on a two month consultancy period, funded by Arts Council England as part of a larger organisational development project. The consultancy was about giving us the time and space to evaluate ten years worth of work, helping us to understand our audiences better, who we make our work […]
Times like these are great social disruptors. They allow us to pause and reflect and, if needed; to re-set society. It may seem that social change is optional in these times, when rightly so many are focused on survival, that equalities issues should be put aside to re-focus on other priorities. However, stopping and pressing […]
On Sunday Boris Johnson’s address to the nation threw up new confusion, uncertainty and a lot of fear by ‘encouraging’ people to return to work (it seemed with 12 hours’ notice – later amended to 3 days) if they couldn’t work from home. The onus was put onto employers to create a safe socially-distanced working […]
Lockdown reflections – Managing Uncertainty On 17th March Zoe and I spent our last day in the ITC office at The Albany preparing to shift our operations to our respective homes, diverting the ITC advice line to my mobile, mopping up the last bits of admin in relation to our regrettably postponed Ethical Employment conference […]
I’m impressed by the people on social media who are treating what could be a long stretch indoors positively. Nothing wrong with being excited about the idea of having time to read that novel, finally complete an arts/craft project, sort the sock drawer etc. But now we really are in social lockdown most of us […]
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