With Mermaid Arts Centre, I developed the hugely successful Gap Day artist support programme which piloted in 2016 and continues to run annually.
A Gap Day allows a freelance theatre maker to dedicate a day to the creative research and thinking they have put on the long finger. It’s up to them what you spend the day doing – reading, writing, thinking, drawing, walking, dreaming. Whatever they don’t normally have time to do; whatever they think is needed.
Gap Days are designed for freelance theatre makers, directors, writers, designers, producers, and production managers and are delivered to them wherever they are in the country. In 2020 we gave 57 Gap Days to 36 freelancers working across 14 counties, who were hosted by 28 arts organisations and venues.
Freelancers who get a Gap Day are given a fee for their time, a room to work in at an arts centre or cultural venue local to them, and a light lunch. We facilitate an informal introduction to the director, or a senior staff member, of the venue. We also subsidise a trip for the Gap Day participants to attend the Theatre Forum / Theatre NI annual conference.
Key responsibilities for this role (in collaboration with Mermaid Arts Centre) included:
– development of the programme
– application writing
– development and management of application system
– selection of participants
– artist liaison
– logistic management of Gap Day placements in venues
– budget management