Due to the voluntary nature of the festival team, it has been hard to maintain a working team of festival coordinators, and the organisation disbanded after the 2017 programme. After some time out of work to focus on family, Amalie Silvani-Jones (one of the founding directors of the festival) has returned to bring back the festival and ensure it continues to benefit the community long into the future.
In order to ensure the organisation becomes sustainable, improvements have been made to the structure of the team. Alongside the festival team, we are currently building an 'Advisory Committee'. The committee meets online once a month and will consist of 7-10 Glasgow based advocates, with expertise and networks formed from working with diverse groups of artists and arts organisations. The committee will support us to provide locally relevant and effective programmes, whilst ensuring we remain true to our constitution.
Restarting the festival during a pandemic has been a big challenge for the team, and has only been made possible as two of our team members are supported by furlough schemes and therefore have more time to spare for voluntary work. Non-existing childcare, remote working and the pressures of socially distanced living have made things even harder! Our director Amalie has done a lot of her work for the festival whilst home educating her 5-year-old and her twin toddlers on her knee. With restrictions easing up it won’t be sustainable for us to continue working in this way.
GOHAF has always been a voluntary organisation, but going forward we don’t want to have to rely on voluntary labour. We want to create a fair and sustainable organisation that ensures the festival runs far into the future! With your support, we are hoping to cover festival expenses, fund an outreach programme, support participating artists and pay fair wages to the team.