New survey suggests generational shift in indie sector’s diversity

A new study of indie artists & arts workers shows those juggling professional practice with non-arts employment work an average 59 hours a week, while also suggesting an opening up of opportunities for CALD people and people with a disability.
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Weave Movement Theatre‘s White Day Dream, 2016. Photo by Paul Dunn.

In 2017, Theatre Network Australia (TNA) conducted THIS IS HOW WE DO IT, its first survey focused on the working trends and conditions for independent artists, creatives, and arts workers. With data gathered from 178 respondents over November and December 2017, the survey is an expansive look at working habits, conditions, personal financial management, and individually established ‘working rates’.

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Jamie Lewis and Kieran Swann
About the Author
Jamie Lewis is the Communications Manager at Theatre Network Australia. She is a Melbourne-based, Singaporean artist who creates and performs experimental and contemporary intercultural work, facilitating meditations on identity, place, and time, through autobiographical stories, conversation and food. Committed to decolonising and diversifying practice, and dismantling patriarchal, capitalist systems, Jamie seeks alternative models in her practice, and a re-imagining of leadership, governance, and structures. A graduate of LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne), Jamie collaborates as facilitator, dramaturg, and co-creator. She has experience in Audience Development, and consults on branding, marketing, and communication across arts organisations and small businesses. Kieran Swann is an artist, curator, producer, and facilitator; working in both performance and visual art. His practice returns to ideas of memorial, queerness, performance and bodies as archives, and strategies of co-creation, meaningful engagement of the audience, or at least displacing the usual audience/artist relationship. In contemporary performance, Kieran is one fourth of The Good Room, a collective who use the anonymous experiences of ordinary people to create extraordinary theatre works, including I Should Have Drunk More Champagne (Metro Arts 2013) and I Just Came To Say Goodbye (Brisbane Festival 2017). He has worked with Portland Institute of Contemporary Art,Performance Space 122, Danspace Project, and Venice International Performance Art Week; and held positions at Theatre Network Australia, the nation’s leading advocacy organisation for the performing arts (Program Producer); Metro Arts, Brisbane’s home for experimental and contemporary art and performance (Program Manager), and fortyfivedownstairs, an independent space for Melbourne contemporary art and performance (Theatre Coordinator). Kieran has studied at Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, in Connecticut USA; Victorian College of the Arts; and Queensland University of Technology.