And it's a very happy New Year for us, as we can finally announce our schedule of workshops and some of our planned events, with more to follow as details are confirmed and once we hear back from ACE about our recent GFA application.

First up, we have a LOT of workshops for you to choose between, if you're looking to develop or refresh any skills. Our training has been divided into introductory, general and experienced levels, to keep our training relevant to producers and managers at different stages of their careers; we've developed a Foundation in Producing strand which will cover ten key subjects to offer early-career producers / self-producing artists a solid grounding in producing skills, while we're extremely grateful to Arts Funding & Philanthropy for funding a series of fundraising workshops for experienced producers which explore diversifying sources of income. These workshops will be held in Brighton, Bristol, Leicester, Leeds, London and Manchester, and all of our workshops will be livestreamed, with some available to our members for online study.

You can read more about our workshops here: they start with Strategic Producing on 22 January - which is perfect if you're attending the Devoted & Disgruntled open space event in London - and alongside key skills such as Tourbooking with Sarah Trist, Creative Producing with Peggy Olislaegers and Where To Get The Money From, we'll also have a workshop with Katy Noakes on Career Sustainability. There are twelve workshops to choose from, and thanks to our supportive partners, we're able to keep the costs low so that people can attend several if they'd like.

Part of our funding application is to offer travel bursaries to help people to attend workshops which are not local to them, as we do not want location to be a barrier to attending our events.

As part of our professional development strand, we're really pleased to be able to announce Action Learning sets for Producers, which will run from February to July in partnership with our very good friends at PANDA, and you can read more about it and apply here. Action Learning is a really valuable and powerful tool for professional and personal development, and we hope to be able to offer this on an annual basis.

Another part of our funding application is to offer a paid Trainee Producer role, and this is something which we really really want to be able to pilot.

And then we have some events to announce. First up, we've got some Producer Counselling afternoons: the last Monday of the month will be an open space for producers and self-producing artists to discuss or seek advice on any issues, in a supportive group setting which will be facilitated by PANDA Director Anne-Marie Crowther and by IDMN member Lise Smith, using group discussions, open space and world cafe formats. As these sessions will be held in London, we'll welcome anyone who wants to attend via Skype, and part of our funding application is to offer these sessions free of charge to participants. We're holding a pilot event on Monday 29 January, and we'd love to see you there; you can RSVP here.

We will also be holding a series of roundtable discussion events on topics about producing, and the producer-artist relationship. We haven't confirmed the dates yet, but we'll be adding them to our Ticketsource page when they're live, and we'll of course announce them on our Facebook and Twitter accounts (we'd rather not spam you with too many newsletters).

We're planning to conduct a research & consultancy project on producer capacity and support in each region, so we're organising a number of meetings around the country, and hoping to meet as many producers and artists as we can as part of this. We'll be writing up our findings over the summer, and we'll publish them for public use. We will also be researching other producer support and development schemes, to better inform our activity, and to explore potential partnerships.

Finally, we want IDMN to be an active part of the professional dance community, so we are exploring ways of being more involved, for example through Chisenhale's Guest Counsellors scheme, through the GFA support group which we are exploring setting up, and through reminding artists and producers that we're here to help. We're always keen to find out how we can do more, and so if you're interested, please do get in touch.

We are immensely grateful to everyone who has been so supportive and encouraging of our plans and our work, and we're really looking forward to spending 2018 working with them.

Best wishes,

Chantal Guevara
Chair