I have been involved in running Turtle Key Arts now for twenty one years and its Chief Executive for the last four years. We work with many companies and artists, producing shows, managing tours and supporting the development of work in the independent sector.
I have seen first-hand the struggles and fights that some performers, stage management, artists and creative teams have had to have to ensure fair pay and rights over their work and working hours. It made me all the more determined not to be one of those people.
It makes me sad that there is still an ecology in some parts of the sector where cutting or reducing fees paid is an acceptable action. Now more than ever as an independent artist, manager or creative trying to make a reasonable living in this sector it is a challenge and needs to be protected and supported. Being a member of ITC and an Ethical Manager is a rubber stamp, it says we believe in best practice, fair and reasonable pay, working conditions, hours and credit for the artists and people we work with.
This feeds into Turtle Key Arts very ethos, supporting and enabling artists without forcing compromises. I know with funding getting more and more challenging, the squeeze to budgets is ever more paramount but it should never be at the expense of fair and right pay and conditions. Being an Ethical Manager as an organisation also gives you a safety blanket and makes it clear to everyone involved how you are prepared to work and I think in this current climate doing things right is absolutely vital.
Organisations do not need to be put off by the Ethical Management status, unusual and unique contracts can be discussed and necessary additions and adaptations made. Being an Ethical Manager is not being part of some elite club, it is more raising your hand up and saying we believe in treating the people we employ with fairness, dignity and respect. Something that I know we all want to do.
As the Chair of ITC I support the Ethical Manager Scheme and encourage as many of you as possible to join and support us and best practice.
Turtle Key Arts Chief Executive and ITC Chair