• arts & culture

12 July 2019

The Victorian Independent Producers Initiative is a comprehensive new program to boost the capacity of independent producers in the performing arts, build the pool of skilled producers in the state, and help artists and companies to get the most from the artist/producer relationship.

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Theatre Network Australia has been contracted to deliver the program on behalf of the Victorian Government and recruitment is now underway for a Program Producer to manage the program. Full details of the program, including application information, will be available in September.

Developed in consultation with the industry, the initiative will consist of three streams:

  • Placements: a program that will see early career independent producers undertake a paid placement with an established Victorian producer. Placements will run for up to two years.
  • Unlocking Capacity: a program that will offer multiyear support (up to three years) to established independent producers to enable them to further develop their skills, networks and businesses, and to increase their capacity to provide support for artists.
  • Salon Series: a series of professional development and networking events for established and early career producers, and the artists and companies they work with, to hear from experts, share learnings and best practice.

The Salon series program will also include one-on-one coaching sessions where creatives will be matched with an experienced producer to discuss career and business planning.

The initiative is a response to industry feedback about the need to build and strengthen Victoria’s network of independent performing arts producers, who work with artists and creatives to develop new work, attract partners and sponsors, manage tours and promotional activities, and identify business opportunities.

Open to all independent producers and creatives in Victoria, the program will have a focus on developing the skills of producers who identify as First Peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse, and/or with disability as well as those living in regional Victoria.

Applications for TNA’s Victorian Independent Producers Initiative Program Producer role close on 19 July 2019. Visit the Theatre Network Victoria website for the position description and application details.

Victorian Independent Producers Initiative – Frequently Asked Questions

What is an independent producer?

In the performing arts sector, the role and scope of the producer can vary from project to project. Producers support creatives to develop their work and to grow their career, profile, business or practice over the long term.

Producers also work with creatives to coordinate tours, undertake community and stakeholder engagement and market or sell work. Independent producers work with a number of artists and creatives, as opposed to a producer who works within a company or organisation.

When will the program start?

Once Theatre Network Australia has recruited the Program Producer, detailed guidelines and timelines will be developed and announced in September 2019. The Salons and Placements will begin in late 2019, and the Unlocking Capacity grants will be underway by early 2020.

How was the initiative developed?

The initiative has been designed in consultation with a range of representatives from the independent performing arts sector - producers, artists, small companies - and other key stakeholders including Theatre Network Australia and the Australian Performing Arts Market.

How will the Placements program work?

This program will call for joint applications from an emerging or early career producer and the established producer/s they plan to work with and learn from. The emerging or early career producer will be paid a salary, and the ‘host’ producer will be paid a fee. The placements will be part-time and flexibility will be built in. The program will also cover access costs such as Auslan interpreters and access requirements.

Guidelines for the Placements program will be released in September including the application process, the closing date, the number of placements on offer and the per annum funding amounts. The first Placements will commence from late 2019 and applications will open annually until 2022.

What is the Unlocking Capacity for Established Independent Producers program?

This stream will provide multi-year funding to support targeted skills and capacity development for established independent producers. The program will be open to applicants who demonstrate a track record of sustaining an independent practice for a minimum of three years.

To apply, they must present a work plan that outlines how funding will ‘unlock’ their capacity over a two to three-year period, the expected outcomes for the producer’s practice and also the outcomes for the creatives they work with, and the broader performing arts sector.

Theatre Network Australia will be the point of contact for enquiries about the Unlocking Capacity Program and the application process and grant administration will be managed by Creative Victoria. Guidelines for the Unlocking Capacity program will be released in late 2019, including the application process, the closing date, the number and funding level of grants on offer.

What is the Salon Series?

The Salon Series will be a free events program, run by Theatre Network Australia, that will bring together groups of people involved in the Placements and Unlocking Capacity programs as well as other independent producers, aspiring producers, and artists and companies. These events and activities will provide peer learning, support and networking.

The program will also include coaching sessions – free one-on-one support where creatives will be matched with an experienced producer to discuss career planning, business planning, work-life balance support or networking advice.Salon Series events will commence in late 2019 and run regularly throughout the year.

Who will be eligible?

The initiative will primarily support emerging and established Victorian independent producers from the performing arts sector, and - through them - performing arts creatives and companies who practice independently in Victoria.

While it will be open to all, the initiative will have a focus on developing the skills of producers who identify as First Peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse, and/or with disability as well as those living in regional Victoria.

How can I find out more?

If you sign up to the Theatre Network Australia eNews, you will get all the information as it comes to hand. Once the Program Producer has commenced in the role, they will be the prime contact for all program enquiries.

How can I find out more about the Program Producer role?

Download the Position Description here, and if you have further inquiries, email General Manager Simone Schinkel: simone@tna.org.au