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Creative Workforce Workshops: participant application

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Are you a freelance, self-employed or an atypical worker in the UK's creative and cultural sectors? Do you work in/near Croydon, Rotherham or Truro? If so, read on, we need you!


Since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Culture Commons have been among those working to bring the challenges faced by the creative and cultural sectors to the forefront of UK decision making; advocating, in particular, for better support, increased employment and equality for the workforce. As we rebuild from the pandemic and begin to navigate the UK's ‘cost of living’ crisis, we know these challenges aren't over. We want to ensure that policy makers at the local and national level continue to hear directly from the workforce so they can deliver the right support, in the right places.

That's why we're launching a new series of ‘Creative Workforce Workshops’ to find out from you exactly what it’s like to be a freelance, self-employed or an atypical worker in the creative and cultural sectors in your part of England right now, while also exploring ‘what could be’ for 2023. We would like to offer individual workers across multiple creative and cultural subsectors (please see below) a paid research opportunity to join us for a two-hour conversation with peers to share lived experiences. We know that the experiences creative workers have are closely tied to the place that they live. We’d therefore love to talk to creatives who live and work in one of three different geographical locations across England:

  • Croydon, Greater London

  • Truro, Cornwall

  • Rotherham, South Yorkshire

We have also asked our partners ArtULTRA to commission three local artists (one based in each of the workshop locations) to make unique artworks that capture and respond to the spirit of the conversations; bringing to life the challenges and frustrations but also joys and freedoms of being a creative freelancer. The workshop findings will be written up in a report, and the final artworks will added to it to create a series of 'Workforce Snapshops' that will be shared with policy makers at the local and national level, as well as creative and cultural sector organisations and research institutions. This report will help us continue to push for the changes to the policy landscape that the workshops illuminate.


Key Information

Applications open: Wednesday 14th September 2022 Deadline for Applications: Sunday 2nd October 2022 Locations: Croydon, Rotherham, Truro Dates: Truro, Tuesday 18th October, 10:30am-12:30pm Croydon, Friday 21st October, 10:30am-12:30pm Rotherham, Thursday 3rd November, 10:30-12:30pm Each participant receives: £100 for one two-hour workshop (+ £10 travel & subs) The brief

  • Culture Commons are hosting a series of Creative Workforce Workshops

  • These will take place in venues within Croydon, Rotherham and Truro

  • Each participant will be required to attend their respective Creative Workforce Workshop and openly share their experience of being a freelance, self employed or atypical worker within their creative or cultural sub-sector in their part of the country.

  • Each participant will receive £100 for their participation in a two hour workshop

  • Up to £10 pp will be available to cover the costs of travel and subsistence

  • The comments and views shared by individual participants will be recorded anonymously

Criteria to apply

  • Applicants must be based or be able to evidence a strong professional connection in the workshop location they are applying to cover (i.e. Croydon, Rotherham, Truro)

  • Applicants should be professionally active within the following creative and cultural sub-sectors:

Music, performing and visual arts Arts Crafts Publishing

  • Aged 18 years +

  • We are committed to ensuring that our discussions are fairly representative of the breath of diversity within the UK’s creative and cultural workforce. Therefore, we encourage applications from creatives across a range of ages, career stages, ethnicities, heritages, abilities, sexualities, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.

Alternatively, if you are a local artist and are interested in applying for the Artist Commission, please visit the ArtULTRA website here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at


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