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Producers Mentorship Program FAQS

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How was the model for Rounds 2 and 3 of the Producers Mentorship Program developed?

Throughout May 2020 TNA staff consulted with more than 30 Victorian-based independent producers to inform the design of Round 2 of the VIPI Producers Mentorship Program.

This consultation was done in light of how COVID-19 has reshaped the arts sector- locally, nationally and globally. The hypothesis was that the Producers Mentorship Program model needed to shift in response to how independent producing practice has been affected by COVID-19.

We consulted with all four target groups: First Peoples, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse peoples or people of colour, people living with disability and people based regionally; alongside independent producers who do not identify from these four target groups, but who have extensive independent producing experience.

The model for Rounds 2 and 3 was designed in response to the feedback received from these independent producers.

What are the relevant dates for the Producers Mentorship Program?

The dates for Round 3 are:

1 July – Round 3 EOIs for Producers Mentorship Program opens
02 August – Round 3 EOIs for Producers Mentorship Program closes
17, 20 August – Interviews with shortlisted applicants
24 August – Participants for Round 3 of Producers Mentorship Program notified
03 September – Welcome to Country and first group session.

Participants commit to 12-month program from September 2021 – August 2022.

How do I apply for Round 3 of the Producers Mentorship Program?
EOIs for Round 3 of the Producers Mentorship Program are now closed.

You apply as an individual. If you identify as one of the target groups for VIPI engagement: First Peoples, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse / People of Colour, Deaf/Disabled and/or based regionally, you are able to access additional support from the VIPI Program Producer.

The application process will involve 2 steps:
– An online submission, including a short summary of your learning goals for the 12-month period.
– For shortlisted applicants, an interview on Zoom or another platform that is accessible for the applicant.

What are some things I should keep in mind with preparing my application?

We strongly recommend that you read through the guidelines and specifically, the assessment criteria.

As you answer the EOI questions, do check back to ensure that you are also responding (to the assessment criteria (as well as you can).

Can I save my online application as I go, or does it have to be done in one hit?

Unfortunately, you are unable to save your online application as you go.

We recommend downloading the Word document version of the EOI questions, drafting your responses in there and then copying and pasting into the SurveyMonkey.

We also recommend downloading the sample summary of your learning goals, drafting your ideas and then attaching it to your final SurveyMonkey response.

Alternatively, you can also prepare your entire application in Word and send the files to us.

You are also able to submit an Auslan / Video / Audio application.

Please see the EOI page for full details.

What should I include in my summary of learning goals?

We design the VIPI Producers Mentorship Program to each participant’s learning goals. So, the more detailed you can be with what you would like to get out of the program, the more we will be able to respond to your needs. This will also help us assess whether we are the right fit to be able to support you in your learning goals.

Previously we asked applicants to submit a workplan. However, given the ongoing uncertainty that COVID-19 is imposing on all of us, we felt that submitting a summary of learning goals would be a more appropriate framework in delivering the third round of the Producers Mentorship Program.

Please refer to the sample summary of learning goals for guidance.

Do I still need to put in a joint application with a mentor?

No. For Round 3 of the Producers Mentorship Program, you are able to put in an application as an individual.

What fee do I get as a participant in Round 3 of the Producers Mentorship Program?

Participants will be employees of TNA, employed to work 2 days a week (0.4EFT), and will each receive a total of $21,840 gross per annum. This is based on a full time equivalent salary of $54,600 gross per annum. Payments will be made fortnightly in arrears.

On-costs (superannuation and work cover, which TNA will administer on your behalf) will be paid on top of this.

Participants will also receive:
– A monthly stipend to access mental health support, at a rate of $100 per person, per month, for a 12-month period;
– A monthly subsidy towards internet connection and data allowance, set at $40 per person, per month, for a 12-month period;

– A fee of $1,000 to go towards specialized skills development / 1-on-1 mentorships. Specialized skills development / mentorships may include, for example: First Peoples mentoring support, support by Disabled mentors and so on;

– A fee of $1,000 to pay independent artists to meet with the participants.

What supports are there for access requirements?

On an as-needs basis, participants will also be able to access VIPI funds to support access requirements. Access requirements may include, for example: a stipend to pay for a carer’s involvement in supporting a VIPI participant, Auslan interpreting, purchase of essential equipment, transport costs, childcare.

How much time commitment are you expecting from participants to Round 3 of the Producers Mentorship Program?

The minimum time commitment to the program is 8 days per month, for a 12-month period, inclusive of the group sessions. This can also include time working on participants’ independent producing projects.

Do I have to work certain times or on certain days of the week for my 2 days a week?

No. We understand that independent producing hours need to be flexible and can fluctuate depending on the work of the artists you support.

The only hard commitment you need to make is to the monthly professional development workshops and the group sessions.

Can I be doing my own creative practice on top of being a participant of the Producers Mentorship Program?

Yes. You need to be committed to the Producers Mentorship Program for 2 days per week, for the 12-month period. However, what you do with the rest of your time is none of our business!

What format will the group sessions take, on Zoom or in person?

We will always follow the public health guidelines.

All group sessions will be delivered in a hybrid model where people will be able to attend in-person or online via Zoom.

We will also keep in mind everyone’s access requirements, locations and transport costs associated, when meeting in person.

I’ve done bits of independent producing over the years, in between other commitments. Would I qualify for the Unlocking Capacity grant or the Producers Mentorship Program?

We do not penalize people for having life happen in between independent producing commitments. Describe as best as you can the amount of independent producing experience that you have done, both through your resume as well as through your application.

For the Producers Mentorship Program, the three years of experience is NOT a pre-requisite.
For the Unlocking Capacity grant, please contact us to discuss.

I used to be an independent producer, but now I work for a funded organization. Can I apply for the Producers Mentorship Program?

You can be working part-time for an organisation, but you need to be able to commit to 2 days per week to the Producers Mentorship Program, in order to apply. You will also need to commit to the monthly group sessions. Finally, you need to be a Victorian-based independent producer.

What happens if I am selected, but find that I am not getting what I need from the Producers Mentorship Program?

We understand that sometimes things don’t go according to plan. TNA will schedule regular check-ins with all participants to ensure that everyone involved is having a professionally productive, culturally safe and otherwise satisfying experience.

In addition, if a conflict arises within the group of participants, there will be a conflict resolution clause in the contract you sign with TNA at the beginning of the Producers Mentorship Program, which outlines the steps TNA can take to support participants.

Can you be a self-producing company and apply for VIPI’s Producer Mentorship Program and the Unlocking Capacity grant?

The strongest applicants will demonstrate how the producing work that they do supports a suite of independent artists, independent collectives and unfunded companies.

Meaning, you will need to demonstrate how the benefits of your work as a producer goes beyond your own unfunded company. Otherwise, you would not be the priority to receive support from the Producers Mentorship Program nor the Unlocking Capacity grant.

Who were the recipients to Round 1 of the Producers Mentorship Program?

You can find out more about Round 1 recipients:
https://www.tna.org.au/producers-mentorship-program-round-1-participants/

You can find out more about Round 2 recipients:
https://www.tna.org.au/the-next-generation-of-victorian-independent-producers/

If I’m not successful in my application for a VIPI Mentorship or Unlocking Capacity grant, can I still participate in the Salon Series?

Yes, absolutely. Given the limited number of places available for both the Mentorship and Unlocking Capacity grant, another way to be involved with VIPI is through the Salon Series.
Please register your interest with the VIPI Program Producer.

Is the program and the mentors’ involvement the same as it was in Round 1 of the Producers Mentorship Program?

No. This is a new model (which has been informed by the COVID-19 consultation process), and is more of an Independent Producers Lab. There are no formal ‘mentors’ or ‘mentees’ anymore and everyone submits an individual application.

The program will run for 12-month for up to 8 independent producers (of diverse professional and lived experiences) to learn from one another.

However, if you DO have someone in mind that you want to work with specifically, you are able to name this person in your EOI form. Each participant receives $1,000 that can go towards paying for 1-on-1 mentorship.

One of the benefits of this model (for people who had previously put up their hand to be a ‘mentor’) is that the fee is significantly more than what was offered before.

I am an experienced producer and I find it hard to answer this question: “Why are you interested in this opportunity and why now?”

We understand that there will be different motivations for participating in this program, for someone who has more producing experience, compared to someone who is “just starting out”.

Our suggestion for answering this question (if you are a more experienced producer), is to demonstrate how you are at a point in your career where you are ready to share some of your skills, networks and experiences with more emerging producers.

You can also name some areas of learning that you may benefit from, by working with producers whose practices and lived experiences are very different to yours.

At the end of the day, these are just some suggestions. Please feel free to answer this question as authentically as you are able to.

Am I able to work with an independent producer who is based in another state (not Victoria), or not participating in the Lab?

Yes. While the group of 8 Independent Producers in the Lab must be based in Victoria, we have allocated $1,000 per person to access specialised mentoring support, which could include an independent producer who is not based in Victoria, or not part of the full program (did not apply or are not selected).

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