Less than a week ago, I started a petition because I was stressed about the impact of coronavirus on freelancers. Not only because I freelance. Although admittedly, that is part of it. But also because there are some 6000+ freelancers in the Freelance Jungle. And I was already hearing about delayed projects, budgets being cut, contracts ending and a whole lot of uncertainty.
It’s scary stuff. And a lot of us have been moved to action. Which is fantastic to see.
Not everyone wants to lead
There’s nothing wrong with asking where to go and who to follow instead of starting yet another project. In fact, without a band of followers, there is no leadership. And we also have to be careful not to fragment too much as a consolidated voice is best.
There are some kick arse groups, communities and innovators coming together to share information and hopefully help each other out.
Where to get help and how to help freelancers and creative professionals is a big topic right now. Things are popping up like meer cats on pogo sticks at a free coffee cart. But this should get you going.
Here’s my list of supports for freelancers and creative practitioners during the coronavirus and expected economic downturn
Bodies that are supporting you
MEAA are making information available via their media resources, advocating at political level. Check out this statement. And share hard data about the impact if you’ve lost work in media and/or the arts in this survey.
A statement from the government about a roundtable for the arts. Let’s keep an eye on what comes of it.
Performing Arts Connection Australia (PACA) has a fantastic centralised roundup of announcements as they happen.
The ATO has put out some information and will likely continue to update as stimulus information comes to hand.
Places to get remote work
Pointer Remote Roles
Pointer Remote Roles have been flying the regional remote work flag for freelancers for a while. That means they are uniquely able to offer roles as well as advocate for you on a workplace level re: coronavirus. Check ‘em out (founder Jo is lovely, too, which helps!)
I would love to find out if there are more opportunities, so please feel free to share them in the comments so they can be included.
Potential remote work sources for freelancers
The nature of work is changing, so here’s hoping we see more introduction of quality leads in the coming days, weeks and months.
The Freelance Collective has opportunities via matching the profile to the work. I am unsure how much of it is remote work but with the change in market, it’s probably safe to assume this too will be influenced.
Looking for jobs? Find-a-Finder’s Fee is a vibrant group with a strong Australian footprint. NOTE: it’s geared more towards agency work than arts work but hey, let’s adapt.
Keep a close eye to the Loop for jobs of all kinds in arts, entertainment and freelance.
The Freelance Jungle has a free directory of freelancers that I plan to promote to businesses (who needs sleep, right?)
NOTE: I do not know if they are specifically setup for remote work at this time. So, check ‘em out yourself before signing up, just in case.
This is the group I foundered in 2011/2012 to end isolation, remind freelancers stress has a productivity cost, raise the knowledge bar and advocate for recognition. If you are a sole trader or freelancer, you can find us at this Facebook group. We’re running a virtual catch up to hear concerns and see what can be done on Thursday 19th March starting at 1pm Sydney time. I also started this petition calling for better protections for Australian freelancers during economic downturn.
As the label suggests, this is a sassy Facebook group setup to help the Australian arts scene connect during COVID-19. It’s popping like a frog in a sock as we speak.
So far, it’s proven to be robust in style, clever in nature, and a good place to go if you want to find people doing cool things in a crisis.
Anticipating gaps in the labour market, Work in Between is attempting to set up state by state coverage for finding work opportunities in between creative and freelance gigs.
For people with disabilities
El Gibbs and Carly Findlay are bringing solid information to people with disabilities as well as a safe place to discuss some of the entrenched ableism being splattered around the place. It adds to the already active and robust CACK! Disabled + Deaf creatives across Australia by Kath Duncan. And Disabled, Deaf and chronically ill Australian writers run by Michelle Roger and Carly Findlay (PS: does anyone know when Carly gets time to sleep? The woman is a powerhouse!)
Not sure which one to sign? I suggest sign whatever is there because it all ends up somewhere.
Jarrad Thessman has started a petition to support the events, arts and entertainment industry.
I also started this petition calling for better protections for Australian freelancers during economic downturn. I have had some kick arse advice on how to update it to attract more attention and kick it down the road further so watch this space!
Another petition called Save the Arts (sorry, I don’t know who is doing it though so do your own due diligence).
Lost work due to coronavirus and/or economic downturn? Sign up with Lost my Gig and get it on the record.
Solid knowledge sharing
Rebekah Robertson has penned Art in Times of Emergency — Resources for Australian Creative Practitioners, Part I
Sole trader accountant Holly Shoebridge authored this handy guide to phase one of the stimulus package.
Michael Busch penned this handy guide to learning and teaching during a crisis.
Milke are running virtual classes on how to put your events and shows online.
Fantastic collection of USA freelancing and coronavirus resources just waiting to be re-purposed and learned from.
Many a creative is running to Patreon or Pozible’s new subscription offering to set themselves up to make sustainable creative progress. That might be worthwhile. The Freelance Jungle has been using Patreon for some time now.
You may also find Australian Culture Fund useful.
And there’s also the Awesome Foundation that offers $1000 microgrants in many cities across Australia.
If you’ve ever sponsored a cuddly critter at the zoo, you’d know that a lot can be done by direct sponsorship. This is the freelance version of that idea in Help a Freelancer.
Setting up residency
If you are considering helping artists, creatives and freelancers with spaces and residency programs, the residency kit by Artist Residency in Motherhood is a great place to start.
Responding to COVID-19 on a venue level
THE AIM IS TO GROW THIS LIST FOR FREELANCERS TO USE
If you find that you come across something or some organisation that has a direct response and/or would be useful to Australian freelancers and creative practitioners currently getting hammered by the coronavirus economic downturn, LMK in the comments below.
Anyone that wants inclusion, please include your own blurb in your comment to cut down my legwork associated with incorporating your listing.
Oh, and if you are here to heckle, please go read this instead.
HERE’S TO HELPING YOUR FELLOW AUSTRALIAN FREELANCERS AND CREATIVE ARTISTS OUT IN THE AGE OF VIRUS DRIVEN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
(never thought I’d write that sentence)