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Funding crisis update from FST | Info-sharing sessions | Contact your MSPs

Find out more about FST’s recent advocacy activity and the planned info sessions which are open to everyone in the performing arts (including FST members and non-members). There are also links to websites which will help you find your MSPs and approach them regarding the budget cuts:

While the 2023 Budget Bill is still progressing through the Scottish Parliament, we wrote to John Swinney, acting Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, on Friday 27 January, calling on the Scottish Government to reverse the proposed cut to Creative Scotland and reasserted the value of culture and the impact of the current economic climate on the performing arts. You can find our letter here.

We also contributed to an article in Scotland on Sunday along with several members, other sector support organisations and entertainment unions.

What can you do to amplify this message?

If you haven’t already, you could write to your own MSPs – asking them to speak for you, your audiences, participants and communities, as their constituents – about the impact made by our sector, and why it matters.

You can find them using www.writetothem.com or www.theyworkforyou.com. As there is a very tight turnaround for the Budget Bill, which could be passed by as early as 23 February, we recommend writing to them as soon as possible.

  • You are welcome to use any of the information included in our letter.
  • See also the statement from Culture Counts which is particularly helpful for freelance colleagues.
  • You could also refer to this template letter from Equity, ensuring that the last sentence is directed at the acting Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy as well as the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture.

Information-sharing sessions – open to members and non-members

Following a meeting of our board, and several conversations with members, we have scheduled a series of sessions to enable colleagues to exchange information and views about the current situation. These informal, hour-long sessions will be hosted on Zoom by the FST team, board members and other umbrella bodies working with specific parts of the sector.

Initial sessions will take place, at a range of times which we hope will be most convenient, on:

  • Friday, 3 February 11am (with Fiona Sturgeon Shea, CEO, Federation of Scottish Theatre, FST board member Yolanda Aguilar, Executive Director, Shaper Caper and Julia Amour, Director, Festivals Edinburgh)
  • Monday, 6 February 6.30pm
  • Thursday, 9 February 1pm (with Fiona Sturgeon Shea, CEO, Federation of Scottish Theatre and FST board member Anita Clark, Director, The Work Room)

Please follow the links above to register for these events.

Sector-wide conference in summer 2023

These sessions, together with our regular Members Meetings, precede the planning of a sector-wide conference this summer. The conference will temporarily replace the regular Emporium event that last took place in March 2020 in order to respond to the changing needs of the performing arts post-pandemic. We will share further details as soon as possible.

Please do let us know how current circumstances are affecting you or about any issues that you wish to share. Please email Fiona Sturgeon Shea, our Chief Executive Officer, directly – fiona.sturgeonshea@scottishtheatre.org.