A report covering FST activities during the financial year 2020/21
I was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer in December 2020, and took up
post in 2021. I remain hugely impressed by the energy, resilience and creativity of my
own team and also the membership and wider sector in how they responded to what
was undoubtedly the most challenging period in our collective history.
The wide range of strategic support and development activities contained in this report.
Networking, communications, advocacy and capacity building – remained at the core
of what we do, but were delivered differently, in some cases opening up access, and
necessitating new ways of connecting and engaging. A record number of members
attended Members Meetings, forums and training events, demonstrating a strong
commitment to the dance, theatre and opera community, supporting one another and
providing vital real-time experience and testimonial for us to evidence our advocacy
work with Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government and others.
2020/21 was, of course, a period of change imposed by the pandemic, but there was
also a great deal of internal change for FST. Jude Henderson, our former Director,
moved on to take up a post as Director of Operations at the Edinburgh Futures
Institute. She was replaced on an interim basis by Lucy Mason as Acting Chief
Executive Officer. Enormous thanks to Jude and Lucy, and to the staff team and board
of directors who worked tirelessly to ensure that the FST fulfilled its responsibilities
to the membership, but also kept a keen eye on the future. Importantly, this was done
through the strategy development work facilitated by Alice McGrath in her role at
Strategy Development lead.
First and foremost, though, I want to thank our members for their continuous and
dedicated support, engagement and trust in FST. At time of writing, despite significant
obstacles still to be overcome, audiences are beginning to return to live performance,
and other in-person activity is gaining momentum. We cannot predict what the future
will bring. Working together, I hope that we can face it with the same energy, resilience
and creativity that endured during 2021/22 and ensure a safe, equitable and thriving
future for dance, theatre and opera in Scotland.
Fiona Sturgeon Shea
Chief Executive Officer
All images show different ways of drawing our attention to the difficulties facing live events / performing arts sector because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
All pics: Andy Catlin