Covid-19

Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis we have been working with our members and wider sector closely to support, advocate and provide advice and services, as well as keeping our members updated on development at a national and UK level.

A summary of what we have done is below, along with a list of external resources around guidance and support.

Meetings
We’ve held several meetings with our members.  These included two whole membership ones and then ones split into governance groups (those run by Trusts, Universities and Local Authorities).  Amanda Loosemore from ACW joined us at the second all member meeting.

Each group has specific issues, but the overall themes remain the same.  From these meetings we have formulated a plan to try and aid the membership and wider sector moving forward.

We also held a Producer / Presenter meeting attended by 98 people representing theatres (including some non-member theatres), freelance, graduates, performing companies, actors and producers.  The meeting was open to anyone making and presenting work in Wales and we looked at how we could work together and reimagine what kind of work might be presented on our stages in the future.  In order to contribute a fee to allow for freelancers to attend several companies were approached to contribute up to £200 to fund places.  Wales Millennium Centre, National Dance Company Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Theatr na’nOg, National Theatre Wales, Creu Cymru Chair Geoff Cripps, along with ourselves, all contributed allowing for more freelancers to take part.

Working groups
We have invited representatives from our membership to sign up to four working groups we are creating to look at each key area discussed at the member meetings that will help us move forward.  We encouraged representation from all levels of their organisations, whoever they think most suitable.

A breakdown of the groups and members can be found below.  We will be adding notes and resources from the groups to this page and they will also be emailed out to members.

The logistics of reopening (FOH and backstage)
Objectives:
To include operations staff from member venues.  (An aim of which is to create a blueprint plan that venues can use to aid their planning)
Use learning from outside Wales and the UK to influence how we might work in the future

Members:
Andrew Roberts, Theatr Clwyd
Sara Clutton, Hafren
Rhian Wyn Evans, Carmarthenshire Theatres
Tracey Bishop, RWCMD
Francis Drake, Borough Theatre
Nick Bache, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Lisa Cascarini, Theatr Brycheiniog
Ioan Wynne, Theatr Brycheiniog
Rhian Dafydd, Theatr Felinfach
Sharon Roberts, Pontio
Gwion Llwyd, Pontio

Artistic planning
Purpose:  To work together on future planning so we can be in the best possible shape or when that happens

Objectives:
To identify areas for collaboration during the shutdown period and once theatres re-open
Use learning from outside Wales and the UK to influence how we might work in the future
Discussing how to move forward with planning dates and what work might be programmed on our stages
To discuss what is touring for 2021
What will be essential to convey (if any changes) to touring companies so that we are united within Wales
To support colleagues in the sector during this time, where we can inspire each other and also support each other if and when needed

Members:
William James, Theatr Clwyd
Nick Stevenson, Theatr Clwyd
Paul Kaynes, NDCWales
Sharon Casey, Carmarthenshire Theatres
Linda Norman, Carmarthenshire Theatres
Emma Evans, WMC
Louise Amery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Dave Baxter, Borough Theatre
Angela Gould, RCT Theatres
David Wilson, Theatr Brycheiniog
Emma Joyce, Venue Cymru
Dwynwen Lloyd Llywelyn, Theatr Felinfach
Osian Gwynn, Pontio
Shari Llewelyn, Pontio
Anna Hainsworth, NDCWales

Campaigning / Advocacy / Marketing
Purpose:  To work collaboratively on campaigns to promote the sector with an emphasis on audiences
Chair:  Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd

Members:
Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd
Del Thomas, Hafren
Sharon Preston-Hibbitt, Hafren
Kate Boucher, Carmarthenshire Theatres
Paul Kaynes, NDCWales
Ceri Puckett, RWCMD
Di Budge, SPAN Arts
Richard Jones, Venue Cymru
Louise Amery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Lynsey Wheeler, Borough Theatre
David Wilson, Theatr Brycheiniog
Rhian Dafydd, Theatr Felinfach
Dwynwen Lloyd Llywelyn, Theatr Felinfach
Zoe Philpott, WMC
Hannah Dobson, Pontio
Julia Barry, Sherman Theatre
Liz Baird, WMC
Steven Morris, WMC

Participation and engagement
Purpose:
To collaborate and learn from colleagues in how to run participatory activity during the closure period and safely once we re-open

Members:
Gwennan Mair Jones, Theatr Clwyd
Melanie Pettit, Hafren
Gemma Hicks, WMC
Kathryn Lambert / Rowan O’Neill, SPAN Arts
Samantha O’Rourke, Venue Cymru
Lowri Biddon, Theatr Felinfach
Sioned Thomas, Theatr Felinfach
Mared Elliw Huws, Pontio

Conversation with Phil George and Nick Capaldi from Arts Council of Wales
We recorded a Q&A with Phil George and Nick Capaldi from Arts Council of Wales.  Questions were put forward from the members.  The video can be seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzqoca-YeSE

Media links
https://www.walesartsreview.org/welsh-theatres-lead-the-way-in-community-support/

https://www.itv.com/news/wales/2020-06-19/will-theatres-and-music-venues-be-able-to-reopen-with-social-distancing/

https://www.theatrejam.uk/state-of-play-louise-miles-payne

https://wearecardiff.co.uk/2020/06/02/letters-from-cardiff-in-lockdown-louise-miles-payne/

Useful Covid-19 Resources
Health and Safety:  https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information
Rural Touring venues risk assessments:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18pVxV05MwkyVqwr-oiB1s2OGmeShCZxP-b-rHJuCfQY/edit#gid=0

Advocacy
Arts Working Group Advocacy Toolkit:  https://www.ticketsolve.com/files/9615/9075/4982/Arts_Advocacy_Toolkit_UK_Whitepaper.pdf
https://www.culturecentral.co.uk/wmcru/
Welsh Parliament Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the arts sector:
https://senedd.wales/laid%20documents/cr-ld13215/cr-ld13215%20-e.pdf

Reopening / recovery plans:
Welsh Gov:  https://gov.wales/culture-and-heritage-destinations-and-venues-guidance-phased-return-0
Reopening of Arts Centres-Guidelines Prepared by Slua Event Safety Consultancy for art centres in Ireland:  https://www.theatreforum.ie/assets/uploads/Re-opening-Arts-Centres_Doc-v.1.1.pdf
Northern Ireland Executive:  https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-recovery-plan
UK Theatre:  https://uktheatre.org/theatre-industry/coronavirus-covid-19-government-guidance-library/
DCMS:  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-dcms-sectors-in-relation-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Audiences:
Indigo ‘After the Interval’ survey:  https://www.indigo-ltd.com/covid-19-after-the-interval-national-audience-survey
Results Part 2:  https://mcusercontent.com/8fa6f8f29247a60af893a553e/files/c9d73007-76d9-43c2-a172-c12b17295704/Act_2_Report_wave_1_results_.pdf?mc_cid=f903b4e56a&mc_eid=e975554e2a
Findings from audiences in New Zealand:  https://mhminsight.com/articles/f8a2c8/bring-the-joy-re-opening-lessons-from-new-zealand-10844

Advice:
UKTheatre:  https://uktheatre.org/theatre-industry/coronavirus-covid-19-government-guidance-library/
Welsh Government:  https://gov.wales/coronavirus
Public Health Wales:  https://phw.nhs.wales/
Creative Scotland Coronavirus Advice:  https://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2020/02/coronavirus-advice
World Health Organisation:  https://www.who.int/

Mental Health and Wellbeing
Creu Cymru are also hosting 3 Wellbeing sessions facilitated by Creative Freedom

With Covid-19 prompting changes to our working practices for a while, change and challenge is all around us.

Our three one-hour sessions will offer some time out to think about personal wellbeing; how people can look after themselves and their teams in times of stress; supporting colleagues, asking for help, and how to focus on the positive in times of change.  Relevant right now – and in the future too – we will create a space for supportive conversations with the Welsh arts community.

The link to sign up will be posted to our members and on twitter shortly.

Other resources:
https://www.tuc.org.uk/coping-with-covid
https://www.artistwellbeing.co.uk/
https://be-extra.co.uk/

Disability Arts Cymru runs mental health first aid training if anyone is interested please email Rachel@dacymru.com