In late August Theatre Network Australia announced that it has now finalised an agreement with Creative Victoria, fully supported by the former ACAPTA board and endorsed at a Special General Meeting of the ACAPTA membership.
TNA will be taking on most but not all of the services that ACAPTA used to provide. The two key areas of work that TNA will not be taking on are the Peer Assessment for Street Safety (PASS) Scheme, which is now to be run by Street Performers Australia; and international travel and representation (our focus will be primarily within Australia). In other areas, TNA hopes to enhance the work that ACAPTA did, through their broader remit and strong support base as well as their national advocacy and sector development work. TNA is very aware that in some regards Circus and Physical Theatre (CaPT) needs dedicated, discrete advocacy and promotion, and in other areas it will benefit from enhanced collaboration and exchange with other parts of the performing arts.
TNA are also convening a CaPT Advisory Group, with formal terms of reference, which will meet quarterly to provide detailed, deep sector advice to us about sector needs and aspirations. The members of the group will be paid an honorarium for their time. We are working with the former ACAPTA board on this.
TNA’s roll-out of services will include:
1. Information, Communication and Networking
2. Insurance for Circus performance
3. Sector Meetings and Conferences
4. Advocacy of Sector Issues to Decision-makers
5. Business Advice and Benchmarking
6. International Engagement – ‘No Travel’ international strategy
7. Circus and Physical Theatre Membership and Directory
8. Support Street Performers Australia (SPA) to run the PASS Program.
To undertake the CaPT strategy, TNA will undertake a staff restructure, adding some capacity to the team to dedicate to CaPT, and add CaPT tasks to the existing staff role descriptions.
The TNA staff and board would like to acknowledge the years of commitment and passion that the ACAPTA staff and board have contributed to the Circus and Physical Theatre sector. Running a very small service organisation takes a huge amount of energy and drive, and the returns are sometimes long-term and difficult to evaluate. Despite difficulties, ACAPTA achieved some incredible outcomes – including putting Australian Circus and Physical Theatre on the international map, getting dedicated Circus streams in major festivals, running sector forums and gatherings that inspired and supported the sector, providing up to date information and advice for artists, negotiating the Insurance arrangement with AON etc.
In particular we want to acknowledge the amazing Gail Kelly, who led ACAPTA as Director for several years, with her fabulous colleagues Ang Pamic and Alex Talamo, Administrator Kat Gill, who took on the final tasks of winding up and handover to TNA, and Anni Davey, President, who has been a stalwart of the Circus and Physical Theatre community for ever and has put in hundreds of hours to drive the negotiations with Creative Victoria and TNA, to ensure that the sector remains in good hands and continues to have dedicated services provided. We take our hats off to them.
The Circus and Physical Theatre strategy is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.