Thomas Hescott, 26 January 2014

I called this session because in the last 12 months I realised I was no longer an

emerging director, that something had shifted in my working life. I was keen to talk to

others about this experience.

When do we know that we've emerged?

Lots of ideas around this:

- when we've built our own audience / fanbase

- when we can get bookings for our own work (but don't yet have infrastructure to

support it)

- when we have a clear sense of what our work is

- when we acknowledge we have something to offer as opposed to asking to learn.

- Sometimes we have emerged in one aspect of our working life, only to discover that

we are now emerging in another area (the actor who starts writing for example).

Emerged companies

Increasingly there are companies who have built up a body of work and once might

have applied for NPO funding. Now this seems less possible, how do they continue to


Given the instability of NPO funding is this even desirable for young companies?

Is there any difference between an emerged artist and an emerged company?

What do venues want from us?

It was suggested by one venue that there should be more of a conversation /

awareness about audience engagement from companies and artists booking slots.

This was welcomed by some but it was suggested that still most touring venues would

rather get a tour pack instead of have a conversation. It was also suggested that

companies can't have conversations with every venue they visit.

So who is responsible for audience engagement? The venue or the artist or both?

What do emerging artists need / want?

Money and space one person stated

Many people seemed to agree that the needs of emerged artists were so different and

unique to that artist that schemes etc were not desirable in the way they are for

emerging artists.

How can individual practitioners access more support / more funding - is there a

problem that some funding bodies (not ACE) require you to be a company / charity in

order to apply. Can venues help here?

Associate Companies

People who have recently become resident / associates of venues reported that this

access to office and rehearsal space alongside access to development departments

etc gave them the home and infrastructure they needed to grow.

It was pointed out that this was very similar to the old fashioned assistant - associate -

artistic director route that used to exist for directors but re-invented for a 21st century


Lots of support for Associate artist / company opportunities. Was pointed out that

these can be more informal - ask for in-kind help and support.

How can a venue continue to offer help to expanding emerged companies and

practitioners and also encourage new emerging practitioners?

- We need to foster an inter-dependency rather than dependency… For example by

offering training in funding apps an emerged artist can grow alongside a venue or

company without sapping their resources.

“I do this to create theatre not to learn marketing - if I wanted to do that I would

have chosen that career path”

funding for portfolio producers who work with multiple artists. This was quickly ‘shot

down’ by several producers who said it had been tried and failed too many times to


Are there any individual NPOs? (NPIs?) apparently there are a couple. Maybe more

could be encouraged?

Please can venues get better at sharing their audience data with companies and

artists. General agreement that we have to become more sophisticated in how we

collect and share audience data… will help individual artists build their own

sustainable audience and will help everyone gain good real data for funding apps.

“don't underestimate the data you get by standing in the theatre every night and

observing who comes to see your show”

Very sorry - I managed to mislay the list of names somewhere in York Hall - do add

your name to this if you want


NPO, audience engagement, Touring, mid-career, Audience engagement, Funding,

funding, touring, venue, emerged artists, personal development, Venue