NCFA Sector Meeting 12 May 21
11:37AM May 13, 2021
communicate with us, it would be great if you could keep your microphones off for the duration of the meeting and use the chat function at the bottom of the screen to communicate with us.
If you have questions or comments that you'd like to have to address, please put them into the chat. We've also received some comments or questions by email earlier today from people. And we will do our best to address as many of those as possible. And if you would like to speak, just put that in the chat. So that you would like to, that you'd like to speak.
And I'd call on people in the order that they appear. And we're going to try and keep this to an hour or so. So apologies in advance if we don't get to everything. But all of the
questions or comments that have been sent to us and everything that appears in the chat will be noted. And and we will certainly take everything on board if we don't manage to get to discuss everything today. So we're going to be speaking today about the sector getting back to work. We're going to speak about the prospect of reopening and terms of various areas of the sector, we're going to be speaking about income supports like the the up on the e, w. Ss and what's going to happen to them. We're going to speak about the ongoing discussions around basic income for artists and arts workers. And then we'll have we'll have time for questions and feedback and discussion at the end. So with all of that is clear. And if it isn't, I hope it will come here. And I will pass over to Angela dorgan at air of ncfa, who is just off another call talking about basic income. And Angela will provide updates on these four key areas of our activity. And then we'll take all of the questions and discussion at the end. Thanks, Angela.
Thanks Emily and Tom. And I just wolfed three spoons, a salad. So if anybody notices any green and mighty, please let me know the chest. And great to see you all. And before we kick off, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of I will speak for myself. And I think for the others that when we all joined around the same time during the ncfa in 20 1516. And, you know, we were we were told once a month, once every two months. And we've been meeting every twice a week, every week. And more in the last while. And I would just like to on your behalf and publicly thank my colleagues on on the committee and they are literally
seven people I will go to war with for anything and are incredibly hardworking, incredibly collegiate. I would also like to congratulate one of our members, Liz libo, Donna Who am on a new baby boy, and we have our first ncfa baby. And he is so cute. And I'd also like to congratulate all of you for surviving the last five months, 14 months and we are reopening but in in in real terms none of us ever stopped working. And so I'd like to congratulate you all it hasn't been another individual or societal level and easy time for anybody. And I want to assure you that the feedback we're getting in every meeting we have and and, and responses on social media as well as emails that you as a sector have been keeping this country alive and well. And seen. And I want to thank you and congratulate you on behalf of Ireland on that. And I mean that more sincerely. And you have been we have as a sector and you have more than stepped up to the plate. And I think we will have to be very, very proud of in that context. And and what I've just get, I suppose to sorry. And the third most important thing, congratulations to those of you who got to the barbers and hairdressers already this week, and good luck to the rest of you who will be meeting appointments. And there is a feeling of of this, chomping at the bit at the moment. And we were spent the last couple of weeks really seeking and digging down into clarity for our sector. And into use an analogy it chicken and an egg. There seems to be a lot of talk about reopening. And what we saw and I think recently have gotten some clarity around, you know, it's good to reopen, but also artists need to prepare for that reopening. So we wanted to make sure that the department and the minister and others were aware of the unique challenges to our sector and around coming out of this crisis and and the stages and speed that will be necessary for this crisis while acknowledging we're still in in the context of a slow opening and And we're all too aware that a, you know, confidence and excitement can be whipped from under us at any given time. So we're going to, as Tom say, today talk about working, talk about reopening. Talk about supports, and talk around the other key area, which is, and this is about the time and CFA and go to government and the government parties on your behalf and with you, and with your local support and activity. And with our pre budget submission. And, you know, I suppose the conversations we're having over the next couple of weeks with you, and today with you, and we'll bring that to you for confirmation. But also, one of the big items in that in the pre budget submission has been universal basic income or basic income, as we've been putting that for five years. And we have, we can bring you updates on that, but also have a lot to ask all of you in that area, as well. And so I'll go through them in that order. I think Tom would prefer and I think it's good if we could if you could drop your questions in the chat as we go. And what if we could hold all the questions and we'll deal with them all then at the end. So I go straight into working. We saw clarity from the department last week about you know, we now know that galleries and museums are open, we expect information on cinemas and theatres probably in June, we're not sure if they'll open in June. But we'll certainly expect more clarity in in around the seventh of June. And what we wanted to make sure that the the the department and others and other departments actually understood that in order for exhibition, you to go to an exhibition, the artist has to start working and have access to their studio. In order for you to go to games. musicians have to rehearse in order for you to go to a play. Play has to be rehearsed. And and it has to be peopled, and it has to be planned. And so what we have been given assurance from the department is that it's no clear that anyone who needs to return to rehearsals and prepare for work can so that theatres, art centres, studios, rehearsal rooms, can open not to the public, but can open for people to make work. So what we have in in the general societal is if you can still work from home do but we have gotten clarity that if your work is to prepare work for performance, and performance right up until now it was for broadcast. No, we have gotten clarity from the department that if if everyone who needs to record, rehearse or prepare to make work access studios, access in your in our centre is a place of work rather than a place of public, you can under COVID guidelines, we assured the department and they can assure the department held that the entire sector has been COVID compliant since day one, and that that will continue. But that's something that we wanted official clarity on and we have gotten it so I certainly know from a music standpoint, that's a huge relief. And, and and kinda got a whole lot of people planning and working off the bat. So it's good to get that in terms of reopening and the department has been engaging in some of you I know have been doing great work in reopening conversations. I've just seen you there Sheila creepy, and and the work you've done for dance and I know that it AI and theatre forum and others fall into Ireland, the Arts Council and the events Association and lots and lots of others have been contributing to various stages of reopening supports. And so we understand galleries and museums and small outdoor events are happening now. And we understand that pilots are planned for June or July No, but it looks like June. And pilots for indoor and outdoor events are being talked about. And we understand that we will know in and around the seventh of seventh to the 10th of June or in and around the next announcement that cinemas and theatres would likely be open nothing concrete yet what would likely be open and and that indoor music venues are unlikely to open up that stage and will possibly be later in the year. And the reopening there. There is a in oversight committee and a lot of these reopening things came open the task force that ncfa contributed to and there is an oversight group and an implementation group for all of this and we understand at that a m Sarah Brady at the department is in constant communication with the Department of Health and a nephesh through the Department of Health, and is and so these reports will be made public when they're ready. But also they are forming the basis of conversations between the Department of Art and the Department of Health and are being used to provide a, you know, in previous conversations we had with the Department of Health and and regards to nephesh, there was we felt a lack of confidence on their part about the sector opening up and we think the reports that are being prepared, and through the department and by all of these different organisations, and will prove to be enough confidence, I guess, for them, for the sector to reopen, we have in that context and made known yours and our and worry around the financial burden that some of these precautions and and ideas in the implementation group and the reopening group are bringing forward. And we have been informed that that will be taken into consideration in the final report. So I suppose we'll keep an eye on that on your behalf. And we understand that
the oversight group for this and for basic income has been put in place. And also it will serve as the delivery group for the rest of the elements in the task force. I think it's no harm to congratulate the department and the fact that they have addressed a number of the task force items and recommendation items and and and have delivered on a number of them to help with the rollout and delivery of the rest of them at the department have put together an oversight group. And this includes for basic income for artists pilot at the same group we believe we'll we'll kind of be overseeing and put that together and the group is will be chaired by Connor Falvey from the department include others includes representatives from the Department of enterprise, the Department of Finance, the Department of social protection, the Department of Public expenditure, the Department of Health, the director of the Arts Council, a representative from the county Council's managers Association. And from and and i think i, some of my colleagues or maybe one other I actually can't read my own writing that situation, there's one more that I might be forgetting. And so in terms of reopening it that as much information as we have today's episode, we are just we're keeping an eye on as the same way we did over the last few weeks, we will call for clarity and deliver clarity to you as soon as we get it. And the third item then is around supports we have sought confirmation and from government that there won't be a cliff edge for for the arts and events sectors. And they have we have gotten assurances that until that they will look at having the Pope and AWS supports in place, and four sectors who are not fully yet back to full capacity. There won't be a cliff edge in June, if everybody's not open in June, and that they are open to conversations from the sector and they are keeping an eye on us and other sectors. And who depending on decisions made in the coming months and depending on outcomes and depending, and I suppose that's the frustration we feel for me, but we also got at government level and their frustration is this is all dependent on the vaccine.
You know, I sound like Tony whoever No, but it depends on the vaccine rollout. It depends on if numbers got don't go up or down and it's all dependent but I suppose we would be confident that there's a far larger awareness now than there was this time last year from the instruments of government about the needs for support in our sector for artists, arts workers in arts organisations, and and everybody in you know involved from the artists to those who present them and to those who work around them. So all artists, arts workers, events, workers, events and arts organisations and will be supported and are being recognised as being needed to continuing support until such a time as we are back to normal whatever that is in terms of allowing people to be open to make a commercial those who work in commercial sector that they can be, I suppose allowed to open enough to be commercial again in their endeavours without restrictions and so That's a the assurances around support, and then the final base. And it is a bit more complicated. And I think we will dig through this more and through questions rather than us kind of being any expert on basic income. Although we are no far better more experts than we ever were, and are that we certainly I know far more about it than I did 10 months ago. And so, what we have been doing on basic income over the last six to seven months in particular, but over the last, I suppose three years, a basic income has been a cornerstone of of NTFS pre budget submission to government for the last I think this will be our fifth year, putting it as a core element of our pre budget submission. And we ramped up our activity and knowledge and engagement in basic income. And when it was made part of the programme for government, we went after it really stealthily, and that our sector is the sector that it should be piloted on. So as soon as a pilot was talked about our government, we pursued it as the arts being a perfect foil for that. And you were an audience, I don't need to tell why that is, it's where it's precarious. sector, and it's an income is precarious. As a sector, we're still far below and European average, but also as so much of our work is, is invisible work and, and we always use olan in our conversations, and owned is a very successful future director. But even in any given year, 40% of his work is free work, it's him working for free, in order that he might work and make money. And if you think of a band writing, rehearsing, recording an album before they can sell it, a writer if you know, an author writing a book, there's so much unpaid time there. And, and and so many people who work in the arts and go from contract to contract. And, and we have always unlocked argued that basic income would would suit the arts more than any other sector, but also in the wider context of why a pilot and why the arts for that pilot is and information out of that pilot could help very similar organisations like small farmers fisheries, and other small industries in in the service sector, who could benefit from the information learned and learnings from a trial in the arts. And so we have been a when we worked on the task force with a number of colleagues. We relied on the decades of work that people like social justice Ireland on basic income Ireland, and have got a boost, but we have brought to bear inish ourselves as a sector. And previously, people talk about artists as, as just at that point, the art maker we are strongly in favour that it's artists and arts workers. So those who make art and those who help them to bring that to audiences, we have started a list of what we mean by that, and we think it's going to be far more beneficial to everybody concerned for politicians, and, and and basic income groups to learn and to know who exactly we're talking about. So we have been working over the last seven months with or had been acting as a resource for the Green Party policy group on basic income for artists. And I suppose the top lines give you the top lines we support, the task force called for the amount to be 327 a week,
which is how we came about that number or how we came to that number in the task force was that its minimum wage, basically. And it's been around minimum wage per week. And we also think that it should cover artists and arts workers. And the numbers are a tricky one. And we are following three I suppose three key numbers that have been brought plus one is 55,000. And that number has been used by the Arts Council by a y in their reports, and that would be the the wide artists, arts workers, events, events, workers and organisations in in the kind of arts and entertainment sphere. And that's the number that has been used. The challenge there is there is no research around that number. And that's the top number. The next real number that we become aware of is m 14,200. And those were the amounts of artists, arts workers and events workers on pop at the height of pop We're looking scared of that number because so that was the highest number in that category. But we would argue and we have argued with a with a those who we've been working with that there could have been a writer or an actor whose job when they signed on Pope will was a barista or a teacher and and that they may not show up in that 14,200. So, we are advocating that some basic research needs to be done around the who qualifies. And the secondary of that as well is something we love your area, we'd love your your help in that list, who and what you think, as a sector and in the area of artists and arts workers should qualify you what are the jobs and you know, if you want to, if you have some in mind, Now throw them into the chat, we'll share it the list that we have come up with it is by no means finite. And that's why we rely on you to feed us there's a real openness in those we're talking to that the definitions come from us the sector. And so that when this is brought to government, it has buy in from the sector to which it is solving a problem. So it's really important that any and all ideas you have, and that you feed them to us, and we can put them together on any aspect of basic income for artists. And that so we come to the stage where we're not arguing about who can that that that's a group that we've all agreed on. And we feed that then to the oversight group. And they will rely on us to bring that list to them. And we're asking you now to feed into that list for us and with us. And the other area then is is how you qualify. And if you had any ideas there, there are a number of situations already. So one is the the revenue and definition is that you
50% of your income in the previous year would have been to been from your artist endeavour. That's impossible. No, because the previous year here, nobody earned any, you know, very few people learned anything from the right. So we would be encouraging language like an average income over the last and then propose an excellent two years. So we'd love to hear your, your thoughts. Third, there is also the situation where there are artists who have not yet started to make income from their arts. So how, what our language around that, and what's our language about feeding in to that. So we'd love to hear it. That's what we'd love. We have our own ideas, but we'd love to hear from you as a sector, the solution is is on this zoom, I think are in the wider community that this zoom recommends. And we have been asked to feed in to this group or to be available as a resource and to meet the department every on a regular basis to feed this into them. So we would encourage you and any and all ideas you have, that you don't see it, that you feed them through to us. And I really think we are best place as the sector to come up with the solutions for the sector. And what we have advised is that it's not another Hunger Games for the arts, and that we're not all competitively pitted against each other. And and that we're not, you know that it's not a, you know, it's not a competitive that because it's universal. And because basic income is answer a dire need for all artists, that it shouldn't need to be something that becomes competitive. Now there is the counter argument coming back at us from a lot of people that the trial may need to be competitive, because it try we'll need a test group. And we'll need a pilot group who will be asked not to opt in.
But I think those are all things that aren't written in stone yet. And that we have an opportunity to feed into social justice arland just released their ideas, and they have some really useful figures. We had some observations with them and on items we wouldn't agree with them on. And I've covered most of them here. But just do be aware that there is an opportunity here for us to have a positive impact on the outcome of this and we would i would Annie UBI conversations or basic income conversations should come with the warning that it's not in stone yet we have an opportunity to be the architects of this idea. And and we would welcome any and all ideas you have on that because it hasn't ever been done in Ireland and what a you know, what a statement it would we make about this that our government would put its money where you It's nice it's been for a long time. And and and acknowledge and support those in the sector, who benefit Ireland in terms of selling Ireland as saints and scholars and books coming out arrears and, you know, poetry on the street and music everywhere and they benefit from us as a sector. And how amazing would it be if that benefit was acknowledged and supported. And the a final thing I suppose on that is, is the tools we have put in the water. And we've been meeting we asked me to all the political parties, we've met all of them, bar, Fina fall, and Social Democrats, and all of the other parties have indicated support for UBI. And, in theory, a lot of them want to see the the drill down on the information of the coup in the hole. And but all seem to be supported have a you know, of the if, and, and and there is huge, we have received great support of all political levels. But also, in the task force, there was huge support for basic income that the pilot be in the arts, and that was unanimous in the task force. And in any public engagement that we've been doing thus far. And there has been very, there has been no actually a kind of anti any idea that this pilot and happen in the arts, were also to our knowledge, there is no other cohort or sector and a chasing, being the pilot for this, the pilot that has been agreed in the programme for government. And so that's by no means comprehensive. That's an overview of the work we've been doing. And I suppose a pointer forward about your contribution to how this might look or what it might look like. And then once we have a basic income pilot that we can get behind the next problem will or the next not a problem, the challenge will be then as a sector rising to support its implementation. And to make sure we have called for it to be in in that it would be and I think the political parties have committed to as much. And that is will be a hopefully passed in the budget in October and would look to start in January 22.
So Tom, if you want to feed me questions? Yeah, brilliant. Thanks, Angela. That's really comprehensive. And you've covered a lot of the questions that have come in, but I'm going to run through them. I'd want to start actually with with basic income, just because that's what we've just been talking about. I think there have been some questions about
whether artists in terms of the language of artists and arts workers being eligible. Certainly that's, that's our position. And I know there have been different kinds of language used by different bodies that have been discussing this. But I think that's something that's important to ncfa and how that's determined. And I was interested to see in that comment there. There are 259 in the trash going on, you know, are you actively building a career around your creative practice? Yes or no could be the other job. And I think there's been questions about what's considered creative practice. Certainly, from our point of view, we don't see this scheme as there being a separation between what might historically have been perceived creative emphasis facilitatory. Like, it's all creative. If you're a if you're a stage technician, or a sound engineer, you're you know, we consider that a creative practice. Our position is that artists and arts workers of all kinds should be eligible for a scheme like this. And I guess that's the case that we're going to make.
there was a question about, if it's going to be 50% require 50% of income there. Obviously, there's some issues with that, as we've identified, what kind of income parts related income would count? And would that include teaching, for example, or, you know, how broadly can religion can be countered? And there's a question about other previous criteria, like the artists stole criteria, what was wrong with that, I guess we feel that's narrow in terms of andele in terms of the kind of roles that and also the kinds of bodies that could accredit people. And actually, it led to not a very big take off on the on the artists dole. So we're certainly interested in that broader. And similarly, someone asked whether the artist tax exemption could be a qualification. Again, that's extremely narrow, and that's based on a kind of Anthony Cronin, definition of what a creative artist is, which doesn't include performers or stage directors or, you know, so I think we would be looking for something that's certainly broader than the tax exemption. And there's a question here about and you most address about how Basic Income might work along means tested benefits like disability allowance.
Yeah. So and that's something we dug into very early on. And the recommendation, it's a private document, I believe, until tomorrow, but we'll be able to share it with you on the ncfa website, the social justice Ireland and a publication today will will answer a few. What we're recommending, the recommendation for basic income is that it's non means tested. It's a payment that goes straight into your account, and then you pay tax at 40%. So these are the recommendations none of and I just want to absolutely say, this isn't real, yes, or it's not a law yet. And there are a number of steps have to be taken. So now is the time for the feedback. And I'm seeing some brilliant recommendation, they're making words and they the actress went to New York is definitely something that the French system, I think is another really useful system to bring to government as a recommendation. And or as a best practice that's already out in in the world. And so the what the current thinking from basic income Ireland and from social justice Ireland is that it's not means tested. And also that means that it becomes cheaper for the government then say an artist stole because there's not all that administrative team and and payment. And but also because you the other recommendation is you pay before 2% on the first euro after the amount you get. And so we're recommending basic income was age, which is 18,002. Up, and as pa ye up 40% on the next year, but also self employed, you pay on the next year on the on the question of arts work, yes, teaching is part of your practice. Of course, it is an Annie and all of that, and would qualify, we would think qualify us as income. And and I think the there's a comprehensive list of in the social justice Ireland, which we'll share with you as soon as we're allowed of all of the other benefits. And that people in Irish decided to get the recommendation as none of those would be affected. And the social justice recommend that basic income balance off and with a with the, you know, the idea of arts exemption of tax exemption demand to people that benefit that is a very narrow number. And so the social justice numbers, I think are very interesting. And there's an idea that they've extrapolated the numbers of market income and then paying tax, if the market income is 10 subsidised by a basic income for artists. And that you you up to 75,000 income in any given year, you're still benefiting from being on basic income, and then it starts to cost you. So that will kind of give you an idea of the sums, they have a more defined summary today in the report that we share with you. And we're open to if you're doing basic income, right up until 45,000. You're you're making more money at the end of the year, if you like and I suppose the best way it's been described to me
is is basic income is cash flow to an individual. And you will because it has shown in loads of of studies, and is that you're it's almost the state paying you ahead of the income tax you pay on your artistic output at a later date. Because what studies show is is three to five to 10 years, basic income is paying for itself. Because productivity goes up output scope and entrepreneurship goes up, wellbeing goes up which is the far more important so if you're struggling to get your head around at all, that's what really tipped me into understanding the benefit of this because we are encouraging this as an extra way of investing in the arts and not as a replacement investment. And we believe bursaries and supports should have to remain in place in order for work to be made. But that the basic income for artists is to fund the worker to live. So you have your living wage and then you have the getting paid to do work. You will pay like Your tax on that after you get over your your weekly payment. It's just you're borrowing as an artist with who makes output for sale, and you're borrowing off your feet not borrowing, but you're being invested in of your future outcome. And that's, I think, a really useful way to maybe look at it. And I also just an app, just anecdotally, and it's made far more complications than actually it needs to be. And basic income is, will end up being cost neutral, if we engage with it. But I think the benefits are far far for society and individually, her are way way in in favour of what they might cost. And, and I do think that while it won't, not every single person will qualify is one of the most encouraging ways of supporting the most artists, arts workers and event workers that we have at all come across or being able to access or achieve in the arts, as certainly in my two and something decades working in the sector. And so I think it's, it's in the answer to it, and to the most beneficial for the most people. It's certainly in in in our sector. And the appetite is there. I think the timing is I was listening to Sean Healey from social justice Ireland in the talk at one o'clock, and giving a potted history and so many times they were so close, and it just didn't take off. And I think just all of the conversations and all of the people who who want this to happen have never come together in such a way before. So it is encouraging. But it is up to us as a sector, I think to make sure that our experiences and our lived experiences are what inform how it's rolled out. And I think we have an opportunity to do that now.
Thanks, Angela. Just that I have here the clarification actually, that is social just started a meeting earlier. And the question around the disability pension was they made clear that surfing from their point of view, means tested benefits, it should be possible to earn those on top of basic income. So it's not a bit that people with on disability pension or other schemes like that shouldn't be excluded from it. And which I think is important. And there are some questions here that I think maybe we don't have an answer on but that we can maybe look into. There's a question about in terms of qualification, what if someone takes a career break, for example, for parenting or another reason? And how might that be countered? And someone suggesting an apprentice type scheme to help people kind of in the beginning of the of their careers? I think it's possibly another idea, but maybe something that we can think about down the line? a question about what if you vo takes you over the threshold? Where you're required to charge VAT? I think we can certainly, you know, look into that with our financial experts. The there's other there's other good suggestions. It's interesting here that visual or there's a number of points being made that visual artists art and consider income of 5000 euro as a professional visual artist, rather than as a percentage, but actually as an amount per years. That's something to be thought about. And this question about, just as a question there for theatre for clarifying the definition of creative practice on the pay scale survey, which we sent out the other day. And we passed that on to theatre forum to hopefully clarify.
we might move on, and if there were further questions about things you can go on, please put them into the trash or you can follow up with us afterwards as firstname.lastname@example.org. But we might just as a couple of questions about the about the P up and the E Ws s. I mean, there's a question from Kevin from someone who after more than a year of trying hasn't managed to get on the P up. Which is really unfortunate. I think the best advice we can give on that is to contact the Department of Culture
are to us. Yeah. And
someone might drop that email address there into the into the trust so that people can follow up. The yeah are kind of our best advice is to is to follow up directly with the department who have been looking into into cases. And this was an example of someone who did lose a lot of sheduled work as a performer, but wasn't in the middle of employment at the point where the pandemic happened. And there's another question, which I think is probably something that we need to get clarity on about how sporadic pa ye work may be able to operate alongside the PA up when people go back to work on that, suppose we're thinking about people like performers or technicians who are not self employed, but who work on pa ye as at the moment that that income is not eligible in terms of earning, it's on top of the pay up, as far as I'm aware. So we should just clarify as sporadic work becomes available, and as the up while the up continues. You know, how can that be? How can that be, you know, make sure that people don't lose a stone, that's something that we can certainly put on our agenda. There's no thanks. We'll just put in artists up at welfare delta E, which is the email address to contact welfare directly about the view up on this great tax calculations going in there about the VAT issues. And VAT is something that we can come back to again, at another point it certainly we've, we've done a certain amount of work around VAT, but it's something that we can come back to you. And so I might run through a bunch of questions that we might try to answer quickly, about about reopening. And the answers to these might be yes or no, or we don't know or we look into us. I mean, there's a question here, which is, classes and therapeutic sessions are our therapeutic sessions. And our youth groups able to work I saw there was a ri Charlotte from Xavier Labour Party was asking about this in the Irish Times today. And I think that's a sector that's still looking for a lot of clarity or understanding. Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but it is a professional work is like go back, but that there still isn't clarity around amateur or voluntary or therapeutic or teaching work.
And the only clear indication we have there is that that's an immediate, yes, if the class takes place outdoors, and is lower than 15 people, and there is no clarity yet as we understand frog for indoors, Bush, it's my interpret, and this is just my interpretation. But if if our centres and theatres are allowed as a place of work and not open to the public, one could make the a you know, I'm not sure it wouldn't I think they held for over a certain number. And, or may not be allowed in, you know, I think a class could be considered public. So I think your safest is either the class happens outside and is reduced to 15. But we what we understand is that there'll be far more clarity and allowance of that in June. And know, there could be and we're not leave, it could be Oh, we'll tell you in June just to get, you know, get office kind of way. But and I think it's certainly the safest thing there. And I suppose what we are brilliant at as a sector is knowing what we can do safely. And so I think if you can make an individual safe argument, and there's a lot to be said for that. But we are echoing the recommendations we made by Dan Saarland repeatedly in our conversations with the department. And I understand that those are then be made by Sara, in her regular meetings with the Department of Health. And
there's a couple of good actually some good things in the trash here. Sarah Bolger from w theatre, has said that they've been advised to follow the Department of Education guidelines for youth arts, I'm sorry, if you had a link that you could throw in the chat there, that would be brilliant. But so I think
my next suggestion is follow the school's advice.
Yeah, I think my understanding at the moment is that like professional work is covered by, you know, the latest clarification. Older activities are still mostly covered by the mass gatherings rule rules, which is currently 15. Outdoors. But I think we can also we can go and we can look for additional clarity around this. And there's a question about non arts venues as workplaces, churches, stately homes. The that's I mean, maybe that's something that we can ask for clarity about at the moment,
for clarity, but I do know that pointer Ireland have a really comprehensive list themselves on their website. So you could if those areas kind of fall into tourism, more than arts, and I think there's some good guidelines there as well. And certainly I know there's considered tourism Ireland because there's so much overlap, having worked working very closely together on on festivals and outdoor areas reopening for arts and sports and, and what I think there might be some resources involved you there in tours, but I think grants available to get yourself ready.
I think the question is more about going back and doing rehearsals and doing you know, in those kinds of like, yeah, in terms of those spaces, so maybe that's something we can also look for clarity on and someone has just sent me through in the chat, a clarification that that only professional work is currently allowed under the guidelines in our centre. rehearsal rooms, so nos community or voluntary or youthwork, at certainly under it so that, you know, we will continue to, you know, we will have this on our agenda. There's a question about whether artists can travel to and from Northern Ireland, for work, my understanding is the cross border travel for work is allowed. I don't know if anyone has more information about that three proportion to trash. But the certainly I know that artists have been doing that. Maybe that can be clarified. And there's a question about will there be restrictions on numbers in rehearsal rooms? My understanding, and they'll correct me if I'm wrong, Angela is that the, the the numbers, as long as the work is being done under public health guidelines with social distancing, and that it's not considered a mass gathering. So the numbers are not restricted, as long as social distancing and other public health measures can be maintained. And there's a similar question about dance numbers in rehearsal rooms, which maybe is answered by the same thing. There's also there's good there's some good information on the dance sector and the guidelines have been posted in there that can people can look at. So there's some questions around when we go back to venues I get, you know, a number of these things. The answer to this is we don't really know. You know, we'll soldier on and on. But I think all of these things can go on our list of questions for the department at our next meeting, will social distancing still be required? When theatres open? Could social distancing be eliminated, eliminated? If all of audiences required to be vaccinated? Will vaccine status need to be checked? for artists to work together? And will vaccinated artists need to give consent to work with non vaccinated artists? And when will guideline numbers for outdoor and indoor events of various scales will be provided? All of these things are things we're trying to find out? It's a good question here about fish or bars, when the performance spaces are able to open and the bars open, when wet pubs are able to open will the bars open?
Yeah, I suppose this conversation at ncfa we've been having all the time, because what we wanted to do do was, you know, if, if Ron Thomas can be open, then why not a bookshop? If our why not is cinema if, if you know 100 people can be in in TK Maxx Why can't 100 people be in the workman scope? And, and I suppose these are conversations we're having all along. What we're getting is the feeling we're getting is and indoor venues for music will be lost. That's that's the big, that's the only thing we did have any kind of opinion on and again, in any of our conversations was was opinion, not fact? Because I think in context of all societal conversations about the reopening, it's all based on if this goes right, and if that goes right, and if this goes right, but these are all really, really a useful questions for us to just have as a long list and in our communications back and forth with the department. And as and when we get answers to them, we'll put them up on our website.
Brilliant. Thanks, Angela. But it's a good quote, you know, if you can have a drink in the pub, you should be able to drink in the theatre? Certainly, I think so. The there is a question here around the pilot events that the minister has been talking about in the news and around the criteria for those pilot events being selected? Do we have any information about that?
We don't have any knowledge on that. And we only have what the minister is saying is that some pilots are planned, and we don't have any access to who and how and when. And I do know, that she has publicly stated and that the larger events, they'll be working with large promoters and and for smaller events they'll be working with with venues and, and and those who represent them. And but we don't have any information, concrete information. And but we're hoping that we'll have some level of input so that everything is tested for all of us, so that we would have some level of input from the sector and into a buckles into the test and what may be measured in the test, so that it's a benefit to everybody in the sector, and not just those involved in the tests.
Brilliant. Thanks, Angela. And there's a question here. Maybe Georgina, could ask you to speak to this. If you're still here with us about the guidelines for galleries opening is there is there a document that people can look to,
there's not an updated document at the moment it's still referring to the the pulsar Ireland guidelines that have been available that you're able to sign up to be part of that safety charter, which it is advised that everybody does. And then I know the Arts Council have been updated. Seeing the kind of art Center's guidelines? I think that's another really good reference, which is available on the theatre forum website. Is that correct?
Yeah, absolutely. Those those guidelines are being updated on the theatre forum website. Obviously, those guidelines, and most of the guidelines that have been produced refer to the level 125, which is our understanding now is that those levels have been abandoned. And that the kind of various guidelines for various sectors will will be developed. Probably I imagine some things will look like they do in the guidelines, but like, the sector is not going to open exactly as the guideline as those levels are anymore. So I think we, you know, we need to have those reopening, until there's further clarity about literally what's possible when the Yeah, that we shouldn't be relying on the levels from now on. And I'm just as a couple of comments and questions coming in here in the chat that I might just draw attention to, at the moment, capacity is still based on on two metres social distancing? You know, we will find out, you know, when we do, I guess, if that's been reduced, and apparently, I just hear here that the Arts Council and the department are working together on the midscale pilot events and are already in contact with a number of companies or producers. So I don't think this is going to be an open application thing. And this may be some things that are already happening. That, you know, potentially in the streaming context that they're going to look to put audiences into the theatre form guidelines there have just been posted, for creating work for our art centres. They've just put those in the chance to thank you so much. clarification on what constitutes a music venue and what constitutes a theatre venue. Of course, there are many venues that have overlap, I suppose the the I suppose when
Tom, I think it certainly with the Olympia. From cane there, I think the main difference there would be seated and on and on seated that a lot of music and performances in the Olympia are standing. And, and but the theatre more like not all, but are more likely to be seated. So I would say that's what they're using. But all of these questions are really, really, really useful for us to gather together under headings and get clarity. And for them, because I mean, this is I suppose the reopening guidelines that we asked to be made available to the sector. And as we reopened, and we did think you know, that the reopening guidelines that are being brought together, it's a it's a bit disappointing that the studies are really clear on what you can do. And the reopening guidelines are really clear on what you can do at level one to five. And just when that became clear, the government themselves stopped, stopped referring to the reopening and those levels. So that just made it all so confusing in terms of what we can. So what we'll work to do is interpret the allowances there, and hopefully between us come up with some kind of clarity for that you can find yourself in those answers. And but we'll take all of those out and put them together and try and get clarity or as early as we can. And I think a lot of them will be as we have gotten thus far, which will be we'll know more in June.
There's a question about here about Ace Donna being a system for, for, for the UBI. I guess one of the tricky things about a stone is that it is very limited as to who can get in and that people have to be elected. But of course they do. You know, it is clear that the only requirement is that you're working full time as a creative on your income is less than a certain amount. You know, so I think all of these things are things that we can then we can we can take into account and I'm just looking through here, see if there's anything else? Yes, so production spaces for visual arts are currently open. But with social distancing guidelines, like the first session on the national sculpture factory, dance arland are open for residencies and rehearsals from this week. The question about residency is my understanding is that residency is if they're in arts venues can now happen, people are able to go to work.
you know, the guidelines are as they are for all the other sectors. If you can do the work at home, you should do the work at home. If you're not able to to work at home, you can now go into the venue and the venue can open. There's a question point here about the system in the UK where you have to prove that you're disabled enough to get disability allowance. And hopefully we won't have to prove that you're arty enough to get a basic income as an art worker. So again, you know, we lamb Yeah, certainly wants to be as open as possible. Is there any indication that our government are liaising with colleagues internationally about reopening, which is already happening? I'm not sure. But we can certainly ask them to take note. And there's a question about the pop, have long lists, which accept new applicants at the moment that says until the 30th of June, but I guess, you know, every time the pop has been extended, they have also extended the possibility to apply for us. So I hope there will be more clarity around that in June about what's going to happen. The question about who has received decisions on bursary applications this year? We don't know. I've seen the literature ones people celebrating getting Mr. bursaries on Twitter. But that's all. That's not something that we export. That's not an issue that's been on or that has been raised with us. But it's something that we can check. When we're in touch with the Arts Council. That sort of seems to meet let me just wonder if the bottom here in terms of site specific or prominent work indoors, can we get towards you and audiences on what protocols would be required? I think that's a useful, you know, that might be something that's more like going into galleries, like if you're walking around. And so what we can ask for clarity about that? How will children be treated as audience members, if audience members are required to be vaccinated? I think that's a big thing that we are going to need to, you know, find clarity about what will the vaccination requirements be? And what were the requirements that will be put on the public? And what will they be put on the what will be put on the venues?
That's a conversation happening at all levels of society and not just in the arts, that seems to be the feedback we were getting is that that is happening at a every layer of activity in society.
Great, I think it's probably maybe is useful to try to maybe help the department shift the thinking around venues because of course, lots of music venues are seated like classical music is needed. And I think, you know, I think there's a you know, one of the things that we get the sense is that like public health thinks that like, theatre is so exciting that like when you go the audience kind of go bananas, and like social distancing goes out the window, whereas it, which doesn't happen at the cinema, you know, it's interesting that any time I've been at the cinema last year, when it reopened, everyone had their masks off, and they were eating and drinking. And anytime I was at the theatre where people were sitting with their masks on in line, so I think, but I think, you know, it's only one of things we've talked about meetings is that like, as things become allowed in society, like, for example, sitting across the table, from other people with masks off shoving burgers and beers into your face, like once that's been allowed, we should be able to try and make a good case for sitting politely in line with a mask on. But you know, these conversations are ongoing. And I guess yeah, there's, you know, we have a commitment from the department that we'll have a conversation with them every two weeks. Temperature tracking, is this going to be in place and what happens when people get the winter flu?
When there's also conversations happening, I believe that health at the moment that masks may become mandatory every year now and flu season. And even when when we're all vaccinated. And I suppose there's an element in some of these, we will take them all to all of our conversations. But there's an element in all of these that once we ask them for the first time, we'll get more used to them being normal, but also I think they were very useful. And a notes in there from you to each other. And for instance, McCready has put up that and if you put up you know, if you are doing any dance rehearsals and stuff that they have criteria that you post outside the rehearsal room, and I know that and, you know, clear performance, and it I have recommendations as well. So go go to your own resource organisations so that if you do have an activity, you're posting the COVID guidelines as appropriate, and in the place where you're doing the work. And but I think that's something you're all doing anyway.
Just a quick thing about there's a question about quarantining and the fact that it seems like there's an expectation or there's a certain sport athletes, which are considered elite athletes are have exemptions from hotel quarantine, whereas artists or arts workers don't have a similar exemption. And this is something that we've brought up and there seems to be a real reluctance to waive the mandatory hotel quarantine. They kind of make the points that like people who are travelling to repair ventilators or like been there Fix machinery that's used to make the vaccine have to do hotel quarantining, so that they don't want to make special treatment for opera singers. But you know, that's certainly that's something that's going to continue to be on our agenda. Obviously, the monitoring, the hotel quarantine issue will become reduced when more people are vaccinated, and then don't have to auto quarantine. But just to let you know that that is something that we have been, have been trying to work on. But there doesn't seem to be much movement around that for now. We're just kind of at the end of our time, and if there are any really burning questions that someone would like just to address if you could fire it into the chat now. And that includes if there's something that you've asked already, and I've missed it, and you want to put it in there, I'm just gonna keep
doing that. I also love
No, go on.
Yeah, I just wanted to say as your your final questions are coming in, and as we wrap up, I just want to say thanks again, to all of you and for your your contributions and your work and do an email, it's really, really useful for us if you can email and email@example.com. With any and all questions you have concerns you have, we'll try and capture as much as we can on the chat today. But it's really useful for us just have a record of this and make sure we don't miss anything. And that if you have any ideas around UBI, if you have any sectoral specific questions that you can't find the answers to, and we'll be happy to put them all and continue to work. And we'll be calling on you a lot as as UBI gets discussed. For for support, for pushing it with your local politicians for interrogating it as as useful or otherwise for the sector. And and will be and you know, relying on you we are we are only your voice. And so we'll be relying that in order for us to not miss anything that you do. You know, any ideas at all that you have that then come to us. And I want to just thank all of you for your amazing work. And again, thank my colleagues, and especially Tom, you are Rain Man, when it comes to these kinds of events, you're just, you're so super, you're so inclusive, and you don't miss a trick. And I really don't know how you coordinate nearly 200 people. And so totally hats off to you. And thanks to all of you, and for your continued work and support as well.
Brilliant. Thanks so much, Angela. And thank you, everyone, for everything that you do. A couple of final questions here coming in, will vaccination service be required for employment contracts? And that's something we can certainly look for that something that's I guess the arts won't be unique in this? The there's a question about if you don't, didn't apply for the pop or get the pop, would that affect you when it comes to basic income, it shouldn't at all, they're not connected. The there's a whole lot of thank yous coming in. And thank you so much for being with us. And a couple of final thoughts. If just in terms of helping us to put together a list of as broad as possible a list of artists and art workers in various fields that we think should be eligible for the scheme. If you could email us. If you could email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know. And we'll do that use that to push as comprehensive list as possible together. If you need to contact us about anything, and please that use that email address. And as Angela said at the beginning of the meeting, we will be heading into our annual round of our pre budget submission and meetings with politicians. Obviously, we've been meeting with our spokespeople and with party leaders, but we will need every single Tuesday around the country to hear about, you know the NTFS wants and needs before the discussions for the budget will happen. So we will be in touch as those things develop. If you are interested in becoming a little bit more involved with ncfa in your local area, please email us at email@example.com. And we will be we will be contacting all of our current local coordinators and also anyone who is interested in in being a little bit more involved in your local area. And we'll be putting everyone together over the next little while to Yeah, so that we can really be ready to hit the ground in the summer. And make sure that that all of the politicians know what's important, I think last year, you know really showed the immense impact that can happen when we have this collective national conversation between artists arts workers, arts organisations, arts, audiences, and politicians about the importance of the arts. Hashtag save the arts. You know, was something that that everybody understood. And you know, they are still hashtag needs to be saved. So we're going to continue to be trying to hashtag save the arts as the year goes on. And thank you, the recording will be available, we will put it on the NCAA website, and we will share the link on our social media and through the newsletter. And I'd encourage everyone also to filling out the PayScale survey that we're working on with theatre forum and st and other resorts organisations, the link was sent out in the newsletter on on Monday, and if you are not subscribed to the NTP newsletter at the moment, you could do that through the website. And we will we'll send another link to that before the end of the week, along with maybe some of the links that have come up in the chat today will also be recorded the meeting so we will provide a transcript for artists with disabilities. We actually were talking before the meeting about getting auto captioning set up and apologise. Apologies that we haven't gotten around to doing that so far. But from now on, we will be working to make our meetings as accessible as possible. But we will make the transcript of the meeting available along with the along with the recording. Thanks. That's we seem to have got through everything. Thanks so much. And yeah, with that, thank you for taking this time, this afternoon, and all the best of everything that you're doing all the best with getting back into your studios and your rehearsal spaces and your places of work and planning and creating and preparing and rehearsing the work that we're all going to be experiencing. From now on, get out there and see arch in galleries and museums as you can and take advantage of them being open. I had a really great day wandering and galleries in Dublin yesterday. And I feel all the better for us. And yeah, we look forward to being in in in indoor and outdoor performance spaces with many of you as the summer rolls on. So thanks so much. And yeah, we'll be in touch and please be in touch with us. Thanks a million.
thanks a million telson.
lovely to see Angela.
Thank you. Yeah, hopefully see in real life very soon. Thank you, everybody. Thanks, guys.