Sarah Shead joins Freelance Task Force

Spin Arts is happy that Sarah Shead will join over 100  freelancers to form a Freelance Task Force.


On Thursday 21 May 2020, a group of performing arts organisations, including producing companies and venues, jointly signed a letter in support of the freelancers who make up a vital part of the performance sector.

Each organisation committed to paying a freelancer for one day a week throughout June, July and August to form a Freelance Task Force.

Spin Arts is proud to be one of 138 organisations sponsoring a freelancer.  117 freelancers are now in place with the last few being appointed in the coming days.

The Freelance Task Force aims to strengthen the influence of the self-employed
theatre and performance community, by creating ongoing points of connection between freelancers, organisations, funders and the government, as well as amplifying the voice of the self-employed in the response and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.


The roles the freelancers represent are wide ranging. They include directors, technicians, producers, writers, set and costume designers, crew, production managers, sound designers, composers, fight directors, choreographers and movement directors, dramaturgs, actors and performers, casting directors, puppet makers, dancers, singers, theatre makers and more.

Age Range
50% are 20-34
42% are 35-49
8% are 50-64

23% identify as D/deaf Disabled
5% identify as neuro-diverse or learning disabled
71% identify as non disabled

67% identify as female
30% identify as male
3% identify as trans/non-binary/define in a different way


53% identify as White
5% identify as Mixed
10% identify as Asian
18% identify as Black
14% other/prefer note to say

1% identify as upper-middle class
36% identify as middle class
62% identify as working class
1% identify as lower class

There is representation in every region in England as well as Scotland and Wales.

Immigration Status
There are a wide range of immigration statuses represented. Please let us know if you would like more information.


Sarah founded Spin Arts over 10 years ago and has been working as an independent producer for the company ever since.  Last year, Sarah reduced her hours to launch a new venture, Artistic Mutiny UK, a network of arts & cultural workers seeking to find more equitable ways of working and committed to influencing sector change.

Sarah has been passionately advocating for better working conditions for freelancers for some time. You can view some of her work here:

Artistic Mutiny UK Network

A fairer arts for all

Justice for Freelancers article

Why ‘minimum practice’ isn’t best practice – and isn’t good enough


Spin Arts is supporting Sarah to undertake this work thanks to an Arts Council England (Non-NPO) Emergency Grant. Sarah will be paid £208.60 per day (70% of her usual rate. The remaining 30% has been redirected to freelance artists that have an ongoing relationship with Spin Arts and are most in need at this time). Sarah has a total of 13 days to dedicate to this area of work and will use the time to:

– hold and participate in regular Freelance Task Force meetings
-co-ordinate wider conversations with freelancers in the area and/or specialism
-attend meetings and events on behalf of the Freelance Task Force
-lobby on behalf of the wider freelance community
-widely distribute information

Sarah is committed to transparently sharing the work being undertaken by the Freelance Task Force. The group will meet for the first time week commencing 15th June.

Please direct any questions to or or use #FreelanceTaskForce.