Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Yorkshire Ridings Branch Newsletter Apr '13

26 March 2013

ARC 2013 - Amendments to Motions

At the next Branch Meeting we will consider the motions that will be discussed at this year’s Annual Representative Conference. We will also decide on one Amendment to one motion that the Branch is entitled to submit. Please come along on:

Tuesday 9 April

2.00 pm

Priestley Room, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP

To submit an Amendment to an ARC motion we need at least 10 Branch members to attend this meeting. Unfortunately less than ten came to our March meeting so we were unable to make decisions on a number of issues.

The motions that have been submitted for the 2013 ARC can be downloaded from You will need to log in with your Equity Membership number and password to obtain the document. If you wish to propose an amendment to an ARC motion, it would help if you could e-mail it to or send it to the Branch Secretary before the Meeting.

For travel and parking information:


My Theatre Matters!

My Theatre Matters! brings together Equity, The Stage and the Theatrical Management Association together for the first time in a campaign to support funding for local theatres. Theatres across the UK will be urging audiences to voice their support to their local Council for maintaining theatre funding. Your Branch will discuss what role it should play in this campaign at its meeting in Doncaster on 13 May.

Local authorities are facing massive cuts. Some Council leaders are warning that by 2018 they will not be able to meet their statutory duties, let alone discretionary ones such as the Arts. The cuts are targeted at urban areas where most funded theatres are located. Arts Council cuts to theatres started in April 2011, business sponsorship is declining and some local authorities are seeing cuts to Arts funding as an easy target.

In our area, The Lyceum, Crucible and Crucible Studio and have been hit with cuts of £106,000, as a result of Sheffield City Council funding reductions.

During 2013 audience members in theatres across the UK will have access to postcards enabling them to sign up to the campaign and to write to their local council. Actors are urged to carry the campaign message to their audience by giving a curtain call speech at the end of a show. Equity members and the general public can sign up as campaign supporters at Campaign supporters will be put in touch via the web site with local groups whenever a theatre is threatened with cuts. The campaign can also be followed on Twitter at @theatre_matters.


Welcome to the Committee

Madame Zucchini a.k.a. Natalie Hunt has agreed to be co-opted onto your Branch Committee – welcome Natalie! Along with several other committee members, Natalie is also involved in South Yorkshire Variety Branch. While we welcome the involvement of our South Yorkshire members, it would be good to have more committee members from other parts of the Branch’s area too. Out of a Committee of eight, nobody living in Hull, East Riding or Humberside currently sits on the committee, only one member lives in York / North Yorkshire and two in West Yorkshire. Hopefully we will be able to improve this balance when the new committee is elected in September. Would you be willing to stand for election as a committee member?


Sharing Our Skills

At the March Meeting, members suggested that we offer short training sessions as part of Branch Meetings perhaps in the form of a professional skills swap. Would Branch members be willing to offer sessions in aspects of performance arts such as accents, stage fighting, acting to camera, voice work etc? What about business skills such as marketing ourselves, setting up tours or filling in Tax Returns?

Is there any aspect of training or skills sharing that you need, which other branch members might be able to offer. Please e-mail all requests and offers to


Moving to Unity Trust Bank

Your Branch Committee has decided to bank with Unity Trust Bank. Owned by the Trades Unions and the Co-operative Bank, Unity Trust offers specialist banking for trades unions, charities, voluntary organisations and campaigns, local authorities, credit unions, social enterprises and community interest groups. Unity Trust offers free banking to Equity Branches and many smaller organisations. While Unity Trust does not have a high street branch network, arrangements to draw or pay in cash can be made at a local main high street bank branch and cheques can be paid in via pre-paid postal envelopes. Internet banking is also available. For more information go to or e-mail The Relationship Manager for Equity branches is Laurie Bell 0207 637 1236 or


Dates for Future Branch Meetings:

Monday 13 May 2pm - Branch Meeting – Speaker from Cast (Doncaster’s new theatre) + My Theatre Matters! at Doncaster Community Arts, The Point, 16 South Parade, Doncaster, DN1 2DR.

June Meeting – details to be confirmed.

Saturday 13 July 12 Noon - Branch Meeting at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.


Branch Resources:

The Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings can be read at A copy of the Standard Agenda can be downloaded at

To read the minutes of past Branch Meetings, go to and click on Documents. Minutes of the Nov 2012 and Feb 2013 Branch Meetings are now available. You will need to log in to the Equity Web site with your membership number and your password before the Minutes can be downloaded. Notes of the March 2013 meeting should be available soon.

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