Freelance Task Force Representative – Parbati Chaudhury

Jun 12, 2020

Freelance artists, choreographers, technicians, producers, designers and many more such roles are crucial for the performance sector to create excellent art experiences for the audience. The sector is unique in having 70% of its workforce being self-employed. With venues and organisations facing uncertainty due to COVID-19 pandemic, this task force is especially at high risk and in an urgent and acute situation right now.

Open Letter – BSL version

Akademi is proud to be part of the sector-wide initiative to set up a Freelance Task Force. As part of our commitment to working with freelancers towards a sustainable future, we signed the open letter to theatre and performance makers in the UK earlier this week.

The letter outlines the following aims:

  1. To listen and respond to the needs of freelancers in the performing arts
  2. To call for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme to be extended in line with furloughing and until theatres can reopen in earnest
  3. To establish a Freelance Task Force of self-employed theatre and performance makers.

Akademi have made a commitment to pay a freelancer a fee of £2,275 (£175 for one day a week during the months of June, July and August) to join the Freelance Task Force.

In addition, we are also contributing a modest amount towards the access costs pot for the task force participants with access requirements.

We are delighted to announce that Parbati Chaudhury has been selected to join the Task Force after an open call-out earlier this week. Parbati is a dance maker, performer and teacher. Having worked as a freelancer herself in South Asian dance practice for over seven years now, she is excited about representing the voice of South Asian freelancers in the Task Force.  

We want to thank all the applicants for investing their time and effort.


What will the taskforce member do?

The Freelance Task Force will establish its own agenda and its course to address these aims. The freelancer will work together with all other members of the Freelance Task Force to:

  • co-ordinate wider conversations with freelancers in their area and/or specialism
  • hold and participate in regular Freelance Task Force meetings
  • attend meetings and events on behalf of the Freelance Task Force
  • lobby on behalf of the wider freelance community
  • ensure that information is widely distributed

The Freelance Task Force member is not expected to represent Akademi or speak on their behalf, nor are they expected to undertake any other duties on behalf of Akademi during this time or after the placement.

Freelance Task Force members will operate at arm’s length, responsible to the self-employed community that they are part of.

We hope that the Freelance Task Force member will use this opportunity to inform and influence Akademi, and to draw on our support and networks should they need to. How this is achieved will be discussed between the successful candidate and the Akademi team.

We, at Akademi, are committed to working for the South Asian dance community and with you towards a sustainable future for theatre and performance.