A new report covering a year of research and analysis by the freelance performing arts workforce is proposing a new model that revitalises the way the sector is structured, managed and funded.
The Big Freelancer Report draws on 96 different documents covering the work of 22 campaign and advocacy groups, as well as the data generated from 8,000 responses to The Big Freelancer Survey.
Compiled by freelancers, report identifies seven pre-existing problems that Covid-19 has exacerbated, including fair pay, talent development, inclusion and the power imbalance that favours cultural organisations over freelancers.
Three new issues have arisen specifically due to Covid-19, it says: an income emergency, a retention crisis, and the challenge of working under pandemic restrictions, but all the problems are “rooted in a wider story of inequity which predates the pandemic".
Short-term, long-term and radical ideas for sector change are put forward, including a National Arts Service remodelled on the NHS; a Universal Basic Income; government-subsidised salaries for freelance workers with a track record; and an Enterprise Allowance scheme.