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2 weeks ago


Some chat about PUG and the future

PUG is a bit of a strange entity at the moment. It’s not currently funded. Our last event was in December. We might do another event in future. But we also need to check in with how relevant PUG will be after lockdown.

For context, when it happens, the people who regularly work at PUG is me, Rosa, who produces and co-hosts and Hannah and Jamie who co-host and advise on programming & strategy - we are white people.

Here is some early thinking on actions to take if we do exist in the future. Or I guess it’s a reflection on what we should have had in place. I’ve not mentioned things we do already because that feels less necessary. These actions focus on how as performance producers we can be better allies to Black artists/arts workers/audiences and the wider community.

- Form an advisory board of Black people and allies with different skill sets and areas of knowledge. This board will be representative of the artists we work with. Be active in encouraging people we work with and audiences to speak to a member of the board if they feel in any way uncomfortable and do not feel like they can talk to us. This will also mean that the advisory board will be able to recruit people to replace us if needed.

- In order to make a living, most artists have to have relationships with venue gatekeepers and other influential people. This means that Black artists are constantly forced to stay silent about racism in the work place, take other work, or move (literally move to another city) towards safer environments to continue their practice. Make explicit the offer to work with artists to change the local scene. This might mean that we draw on our informal networks to write open letters or contact boards or funders privately.

- Black artists’ mental health has been attacked. We will be up front about sick-pay for one-off freelancers when inviting artists to perform, as many of the people we work with are performers for one night, and we realise how hard it is to turn down work even when you are ill.

- Continue to learn about the world including the “art world” and consistently interrogate practices.

This is a very early working doc. When we’re back together, if PUG comes back, we will review and add to it and will make it public.

We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

White people, follow @BlackLivesMatter The Black Curriculum UK Black Pride Black Minds Matter UK,

watch Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin's Let Us Breathe' panel

and improve your life, follow Black artists.

Rosa (PUG producer)

Feel free to get in touch here, or email at
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+44 (0) 77577 39643

Space Six, Floor Six, 39 Pilgrim St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6QE

PUG 2020

It’s looking unlikely that there will be any PUG performance club nights in 2020.

In the meantime please check out Coax our weekly online gathering.

Have a look at what we’ve done in 2019 via our Archive.

ROSA POSTLETHWAITE | +44 (0) 77577 39643 | | Space Six, Floor Six, 39 Pilgrim St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6QE

All images on PUG website by Chris Bishop