Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery - Freelance Cohort Call Out for Applications

Chris Joseph

Sound and Music news
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We are looking for a diverse group of freelancers in the performing arts to come together to explore and make recommendations on the future of freelancing.

Deadline for applications: 10 am Friday 4th June

Further key dates

  • 7-22 June: shortlisting and selection process
  • 24-25 June: freelancers notified
  • 29 June: deadline for freelancers to confirm
  • TUESDAY 6 July: first cohort day


About the programme

Creative freelancers, particularly those in the performing arts, have been hit hard by COVID-19. From the very start of restrictions, up to 60% of freelancers had lost all of their work, and it is estimated that at least 200,000 Londoners have been excluded from any Government support. The pandemic has also highlighted existing inequalities facing creative freelancers – including a lack of security at work, unequal access to freelance opportunities, and a lack of a basic safety net.

This new programme will enable a diverse group of freelancers in the culture sector to come together to explore and make recommendations on the future of freelancing.

Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery (CF:SLR) will amplify the voices of the self-employed in the culture sector, giving space for freelancers to shape and demonstrate their role in the recovery of London’s creative and cultural industries, as well as in wider civic spaces.

The programme brings together 50 diverse freelancers from across the performing arts, including performers, directors, writers and designers, with 50 leaders of cultural organisations, funders, councils and other key decision makers.

How will it work?

In collaborate with a cultural partner organisation, each freelancer will receive a fee to complete a six-month research project in targeted working groups, supported by a freelance facilitation team.

It has been enabled by Fuel, and funded by LEAP, the London Economic Action Partnership.

Programme aims

This project will empower creative freelancers in the performing arts sector to make recommendations for London’s recovery from COVID-19 in distinct areas:

  • Improving job conditions, creation and retention for creative freelancers
  • Advocating for an improved statutory position for creative freelancers
  • Establishing skills and training opportunities for creative freelancers

This programme will support the civic role of creative freelancers in London’s recovery from COVID-19, in policymaking and in delivery.



Each freelancer in the cohort will play a role in the successful delivery of Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery.

The cohort will be supported by an Advisory Group, Partner Organisations and an internal team, enabled by Fuel, consisting of a Facilitator, Communications and Administration Co-ordinator, Bookkeeper and Access Manager.


The responsibilities of each freelancer within the Cohort:

  • Deliver on the over-arching research goals set out in the programme’s objectives
  • Collaborate with cultural organisations on how to improve policies and working practices
  • Feed into the Mayor of London’s work to improve conditions for Creative Freelancers
  • Contribute to the independent evaluation of the programme


The Cohort are expected to meet on Tuesdays from 6th July until 16th November 2021.
A working outline for key meetings is as follows:

  • From 6 July: first cohort day (‘Understand’ phase begins, days 1 to 5)
  • From 10 August: (‘Vision’ phase begins, days 6-15)
  • From 19 Oct: (‘Propose’ phase begins, days 16-19)
  • 16 Nov: final cohort day (‘Reflection’, day 20)


Applicants who meet our eligibility criteria are invited to make an online application (Stage 1), complete a video interview (Stage 2), and take part in the final selection workshop (Stage 3).

To be eligible to apply to the CF:SLR programme, you will need to satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • A London-based freelancer
  • Active in the performing arts sector
  • Eligible to work and volunteer in the UK/EU
  • Able to commit to the full CF:SLR programme schedule
  • Willingness to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) check.


The freelance cohort will consist of 50 London-based freelancers in the performing arts, who can:

  • Demonstrate interpersonal leadership skills, curiosity and a growth mindset
  • Are values based, purpose led, and action orientated
  • Are critically minded problem solvers who can apply their thinking to workers’ rights in the creative and cultural sectors
  • Build strong connections, collaborations and engagements with diverse communities, teams and individuals
  • Are skilled and empathic communicators; able to foster positive impacts, address challenges, drive change, and establish a sustainable legacy for the wider sector

We are looking for representation across:

  • Different art forms and roles in the performing arts
  • The diversity of London’s population
  • The voices, identities and experiences of people currently underrepresented in the performing arts workforce.



Freelance contract. Fee of £4,000 payable in monthly instalments of £800 from July to November 2021. This accounts for 20 days (weekly sessions) and includes contribution to the evaluation process.



How to apply:

The recruitment consists of a 3-stage process:

Stage 1:                Application (online form) – Video or Audio applications also accepted.

Stage 2:                Video interview (individual) – Long-listed applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and are longlisted through the selection process, will be invited to complete a 2 min video with additional questions. (Please note an alternate format response will be available if this method is inaccessible to you.)

Stage 3:                Workshop (group) – Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online workshop.

To apply for this role, please submit this online Application Form, covering your background, motivations, and what skills and experience you would bring to the CF:SLR programme.


If you would prefer to send a short video or audio recording, please ensure you include your expression of interest and your relevant experience. You will also need to complete this Monitoring Form. If you require access support with your application or have any queries about how we can support you during the programme, please contact Access Manager,

We are committed to anti-discriminatory practice in all areas and representation, including:

  • Age
  • Class
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Neurodiversity
  • Race

We particularly welcome applications from people whose identities and lived experiences are currently under represented in the performing arts workforce.

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