AD Wayne Parsons chats with freelance maker Seeta Patel and Melanie Precious from Greenwich Dance
In this episode we talk to Seeta Patel and Wayne Parsons about the relationship between organisation – be they venues, companies, agencies – and artists.
Living through a pandemic has highlighted the fragile ecology upon which the performing arts industry is built. The community Freelancers Make Theatre Work, a group of volunteers set up to give freelancers a voice, has published data which says that over a third of the freelance workforce received no support during Covid – making their reliance on the sometimes tenuous relationship between organisation and artist even more important.
Seeta and Wayne talk about how they supported themselves and their own dancers through Covid. They discuss the pivot to digital and conclude that perhaps we are all beginners within the digital world and have much to learn together if we are to continue to inhabit the digital space with integrity.
They muse upon the lessons that have been learnt, by both organisations and artists, throughout the crisis and how we all might learn from these as we build a stronger future. We unpick the value that associate programmes have for the artists who acquire them, the difficulties in maintaining relationships with organisations when personnel move on and how we build more sustainable opportunities for the artistic workforce.
We discuss the terminology ‘artist development’ and what artists really need to develop right now, and Melanie poses the question – what would you do, if you ran an organisation, to support artists like yourselves? The answers are illuminating…