Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee
August 21 2011, 11am – 7pm 
Hosted by Forest Fringe, Bristo Place, Edinburgh
Four main questions have been devised to guide the discussion by the curators Andy Field and Hannah Nicklin of Forest Fringe:
  • What is digital innovation in the arts and why is it important?
  • How can we stop making Capitalism?
  • Artists. Audiences. How can we do this better?
  • Why have we failed to convince people the arts are important? Are the arts still important?
A "Pay-what-you-can" conference. The limited tickets are now sold out but there is the opportunity of following the ambient conversation surrounding this event by following the twitter tag #edgelands. If you aren't yet on twitter or unsure how to filter conversation there is a widget at the very bottom of this post to read the activity on.

For more information on speakers, installations and performances, please visit http://bit.ly/edgelands 

In January 2011 as part of the State of the Arts Conference in London we created what we called a Flash Conference – a thrilling, temporary space amidst the busyness of the conference for artists and producers to come together to ask challenging questions and a virtual space online for everyone who couldn’t be present to offer their thoughts and their words and play a meaningful part in the day’s conversations.

The event was unpredictable, exciting and galvanising. Since the success of that first event we have wanted to take this project further. Whilst retaining the same adventurous energy and inclusivity, we want to see if we can create a richer and more expansive flash conference; a real opportunity for people right across the art world to meet at its edge to think about the world we inhabit and how we might help change it.

There seemed to be no better place to do this than at the Edinburgh Fringe. We felt it was important that the flash conference happen in a place where conventional modes of doing things are malleable and in flux; a place where we can think about the structures within which we operate and ask how they might work better.

This day is not about railing against authority or the great institutions of the arts. It is a day for everybody to gather at the edges of those big institutions and organisations, on equal terms. To ask daring questions and suggest implausible answers. To share a spirit of generosity and a galvanising sense of hope; that despite or perhaps because of the political, financial and environmental circumstances in which we find ourselves, the arts can and will play a part in imagining and realising a better possible future.

TUC March for the Alternative
26 March, 11am - 4.30pm, Hyde Park, London
A huge march and rally protesting against government funding cuts involving all unions in the TUC. Equity members are assembling at 11am under the Equity banner on Victoria Embankment.

For more information about joining the march visit the TUC's March for the Alternative Website
March for the Alternative poster for download
File Size: 936 kb
File Type: pdf
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Local Government Briefing document
File Size: 42 kb
File Type: doc
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Taster from he Local Government Breifing document.

The arts budget is usually a comparatively small amount of local government expenditure yet the benefits it brings to people’s lives are immense. Investment in cultural activities can drive regeneration, community cohesion, tourism revenues and employment.

Any significant cuts to public funding for the arts inevitably places the sustainability of many organisations at risk. This will impact on the employment, training and development opportunities available to actors, performers and creative professionals working not just in theatres but also those working at local authority sponsored events, festivals and in venues providing entertainment for the elderly. The cuts also threaten companies working with young people and community groups.
Article from Equity's Assistant General Secretary, Communications & Membership Support - Martin Brown

Cuts to Government support for the arts are coming , and some in the arts think we should not rock the boat and be grateful if the cuts are smaller than expected.

Equity is not one of them!

We think that Equity members should protest long and loud about cuts that will make hardly a blip on Government finances but will seriously damage the arts and also, we believe, economy.

Click here for some key facts about the arts

What you can do?

Join the campaign!

If you have five minutes to spare you could sign the petition against plans to cut the BBC licence fee.

In five minutes more you can join the campaign against the abolition of the UK Film Council.

In ten minutes you can download the letter the Equity Council has sent to David Cameron protesting at arts cuts and forward it to your local MP.

We're not going to sit back and take it. Join the campaign against arts cuts!