We have a history of dynamically responding to the needs of artists and audiences. The Code of Care is part of this movement.
The Vital Spark movement began in 2018 in recognition that there was a distinct lack of representation on offer for younger audiences. It’s a journey for the wider industry and we understand that there is a lot of work yet to be done. We are firmly on that journey, gathering partners and are gaining momentum as we go. We warmly welcome you to join us.
The ethos of Vital Spark runs deep within the veins of the organisation, in order to affect change for children and artists, and to drive the industry forwards. At the time when everything went online, The Spark took the opportunity to get freelance artists around a virtual table for a cuppa and some honest chat. There was no agenda or expected outcome. It was a time of responding to the needs of freelancers in providing a safe space for them to be with their peers and to be heard. Through these discussions we found out what is working, what the challenges are and how The Spark could use its power to amplify the voice of artists.
It was these artists who steered the creation of The Code of Care by Mashi Theatre and The Spark. The Code of Care is a live document, created to establish better working relationships between venues and freelance artists working with them.
It’s all the tricky questions, niggles and clarity we often crave as artists (e.g., discussing rates of pay/ acknowledging time for meetings) presented and formatted into a document for you to use in the way that suits you. It might be that you use it as a personal checklist, to support with constructing an email or take it with you to a meeting and state that you would like to go through your Code of Care with the venue before a contract is drawn up. It really is up to you. There is guidance on how to use it and it is completely free for all to use. Please try it and do share it.
In a time were funding is tougher than ever and we are being told that bigger changes are coming, we could all do with something to make life a little easier. The Code of Care is designed to help us value ourselves more and let venues know how to better value artists. We ask only that you credit Mashi Theatre and The Spark Arts for Children when using it.