As an organisation whose activities are supported by public funding via Arts Council of Wales, Volcano is bound by the ‘Cultural Contract’ – a commitment to ensure that public funding is deployed with a positive social impact and that organisations who receive it work closely with their communities and are accessible to all the citizens of Wales. The pillars of the contract include:
- Fair Work – guaranteeing appropriate rates of pay and maximising opportunities to engage and support freelance workers.
- Board and workforce diversity – increase the involvement, throughout the organisation and in the work we deliver, of Black people, non-Black people of colour, D/deaf and disabled people and people with other protected characteristics, including Welsh speakers.
- Retained staff helping to support wider initiatives (for example, in the current situation, contact tracing to support “Test, Trace, Protect”)
- Supporting arts and health initiatives and contributing to the well-being of individuals and communities.
- Environmental sustainability – minimising the environmental impact of our activities and developing new models of sustainable working.
Volcano supports the Living Wage Foundation rate as a minimum and will apply for accreditation as a Living Wage employer in 2020. We use ITC/Equity contracts for performers and pay ITC-rate fees for freelance creative professionals.
Our Board and workforce are not yet fully representative of the diversity of Wales or of our local community. We recognise this as indicative of persistent structural inequalities and acknowledge our responsibility to work actively to change it. In 2020/21 we are specifically addressing the recruitment of Black and NBPoC and disabled people and aim to recruit two new Trustees.
Volcano re-opened with limited activities from 27 July 2020. We have Covid-19 safety measures in place including a Test, Trace, Protect check-in, and our door is open to the community at least five days a week. We have a temporary subsidised Gallery programme in place to support artists and have adapted the full range of our work to the conditions with the active involvement of all retained staff.
Access to full participation in creative activity as a source of individual well-being, thriving community life and healthy urban ecology is central to Volcano’s ethos. This is reflected in our work with young people, From the Station to Sea and its legacy projects, and the affordability and accessibility of performance and events at our venue. A new project in 2021 will specifically explore Swansea residents’ feelings about and perceptions of theatre and theatres and their place in the life of the community.
Volcano has been working on imagining a sustainable future since its pioneering Emergence project and Summit in partnership with the Centre for Alternative Technology from 2010 onward. In the present period the company seeks to tackle the sustainability issues associated with the insecurity and precarity of ‘meanwhile use’ models and move to a long-term collaborative sustainable model for independent arts activity in its home city.