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Report from first open meetings

First Contact: 28 July 2020
Thank you all who attended.
Here’s a short video of Molly and Joseph with a quick summary.
27 people, great ideas and shared ethos. Key words: collective, synergy, connecting, communicating, conversation and encouragement. Idea strands around training and development, skills swap and peer support.
You can view the video with captions here on Facebook.



Industry and news update: 4 August 2020
Thank you to those who came along (17 of us) to our meeting this afternoon for a bit of an industry and Fringe update. Great ideas and contributions looking to the future!

A summary:

• Not much with regard to new news nationally (particularly with the Gov announcement on delaying indoor performance the day before shows were going to open).

• Local activity involves outdoor theatre and theatre in tents!
• Venues and companies have to think differently – is it enough to plonk work on screen or should there be novelty or added experience?
• Various funding streams are available for individuals, like benevolent funds from unions and others (Theatre Community Fund, the Fleabag Fund, Theatre Artists Fund) and some project/community grants are now surfacing.
• We have now got two working groups; one focusing on an online showcase/performance event (including all artforms like music, visual art etc – there is no limitation) with Molly and another focusing on training, development and skill-swap with Sam. Joseph is looking at forward planning and funding bids.
• Norfolk and Suffolk are working together with Culture United, collecting names in support of a 5 point plan, about lobbying plan for support, once we see how the government’s £1.7million is distributed. The website is www.cultureunited.org.uk if you want to sign up and help to build up a body of supporters
• What’s next? We have our next online open meeting next Tuesday (11th, 2-3pm, focusing on wellbeing) and we will write up an update next week, reporting back on our first three sessions and our plans going forward.

Again, we’re always welcoming ideas and feedback. Please do keep on spreading the word about us so we can grow and grow. We’re only as strong as those who are with us.

Keeping on keeping on, focus on Wellbeing: 11 August 2020
• It was a relaxed meeting and it started off with some attendees talking about how they have been feeling recently; as a person in lockdown and as a creative/performer/professional of the arts sector with its many limitations.
• Frustration was common – with the changing of guidelines and lack of clarity from the Government.
• A round-up of support services was presented, as all present agreed that wellbeing and mental health was just as important whilst we were all thinking about the future of the industry and livelihoods. The list included (amongst other suggestions):
Theatre Helpline
Equity’s mental health support
Samaritans
ArtsMinds
Every Mind Matters
• Attendees suggested different things to keep their minds active and creative. A discussion took place around how Norwich Fringe has already helped facilitate discussion and has connected like-minded people which has been veery helpful and positive for some already.
• As a team, we will be getting our heads together to work out a plan going forward for Norwich Fringe.

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