Making management more colour-ful.

My thanks to all those who commented last week on my blog bemoaning (a little bit) the inability to get press coverage for good news.  I am now delighted to have in my corner a glass half full / marketing and comms assistant for all my work in Scotland (thank you Creative Scotland for supporting this one day post).  Emily Ingram will keep me on my toes and make me plan properly. Excellent.

So here is how you can/could/might help.  Out there across Scotland, or the UK or Internationally there are people who could benefit from being cheered, championed, trained, or inspired to be the inventors, employers and facilitators of the future – the Creative Producers of the 2030s and beyond.  They are not like me, an old white privileged bloke looking back at what I helped to create in the 70s to 00s.  They want to tell different stories, fight different fights, and get inside different boardrooms and management teams to upset the setup.  The CGO Institute and CGO is there to help them prepare.

Do you know who they might be ?  Do you know where they might gather and wonder how they can make a difference ?  Do you know where they may be based looking at the West End and Broadway and believing that the only way to be a producer is to be rich enough, free enough, brave enough to move to London or New York. ?   If so then maybe you could share this Blog with them with its links and thoughts.

The world needs more producers.  The people of the world might engage with theatre and the performing arts if the managements, creatives, and the stories they tell reflect their lives. And those who enter our profession deserve the help, support, welcome and empowerment which helps them get around the decision-making tables as soon as possible – so they can make a difference.

Here’s some opening opportunities:

Producing – Proper Job – Honest / A 90min Zoom workshop which allows you to set the questions, and get some answers on the pathways open to you, the challenges you might face, and the opportunities there might be if you decide to become an inventors, a self-producing artist, an employer of a facilitator of others.    Next open workshop: Tue 15th Dec 1-2.30pm (GMT) These workshops can also be booked for a network/university, and run bilingually. Just email chris [at] chrisgrady [dot] org

Producers’ Pool (Scotland) / a new cloud-based FREE network for and aspirational, experienced, or intrigued producers of other people’s work across all live art forms – concert producers, festival producers, children’s theatre producers, opera & ballet producers, comedy producers.  We meet monthly to consider two core questions ‘What do we need ?’ which someone might be able to help with and ‘What can we offer ?’ which could be useful to another creative producer.  Next meeting Tue 15th Dec 6-7.30pm (GMT) for Scotland based practitioners.

And then there is Producers’ Pool (UK and International) which has over 600 members who self identify as producers of their own and other people’s work.  That meets monthly and the next gathering will be cloud-based (and maybe a bit of ground-based) on Wed 27th Jan 4.30-6.30pm with a specific focus on exploring ‘who’s not in the room’ when creative and management decisions are made – and how to make the world more colour-ful . A focus on ethnic and societal diversity in who we are, who we employ/engage, leading to the stories we tell and the audience we reach.

One pathway into producing is to take a training course, and as many of you will know, over lockdown I have gathered a cloud-based international faculty to teach a Diploma in Creative Producing. As the first cohort nears its half-way point, we are about to interview the first array of applicants for the 16 week Diploma starting in April.  I am delighted that applicants are finding that they can get some funding support from their national arts councils as part of their professional development programmes – three from three different countries have been successful so far. I am also gathering funds for a Bursary programme. At £2,400 for a 16 week intensive course it is a fraction of the cost of an MA or MFA, and might for some be a stepping stone to start a post grad course later. If you can spread the word, across the world, that would be wonderful.  Early applicants for April 2021 are most definitely colourful and diverse – which is exactly what I had hoped. http://www.chrisgrady.org/cgo-institute-for-creative-producing/

It is hard to realise that all of this work has been generated as a direct result of Covid and the change in fortunes which happened to me and so many millions of freelancers when we lost all contracts and all opportunities.  

Back on Tue 10th March BC, Eamonn O’Dwyer and I flew back to London from running an 8 day intensive musical theatre writing training in Perm, Russia. We were talking about our next visits, about the shows and projects we were developing, and I was heading to validate a piece of work which had been 3 years in the planning.  Within a week I was finding latex gloves and masks to look after a wife with Covid (all well now ), realising my future projects were bottom drawer history, and I needed to learn what a Zoom was.   What a difference a pandemic makes.

I am excited by the moves we have started to make in CGO with the formation of the CGO Institute and the Scottish, UK and International expansion of Producers’ Pool. Coaching and surgeries for individual creatives continues and there is more to come on the Diploma front.

Thank you for any help you think, dear reader, you can make to spread the word.  And I hope your new world will shine bright, and some of the old projects BC will come back to joyous life soon.

Take Care

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