UCL Urban Laboratory


Policy-making workshop: COVID, culture and freelance work in London

16 April 2021

Laia Gasch, Senior Advisor for Culture and the Creative Industries for the Deputy Mayor of London, will lead a collaborative reflection on the impacts of the pandemic on cultural labour on 27th April, 11.00 - 13.00 for UCL postgraduate and PhD students.

London Borough of Culture logo

The precarity of freelance work is an issue that has long affected the arts and culture sector and has been especially acute in London. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made it more urgent. The workshop will consider how support for freelance workers has featured as a concern in the Mayor of London’s most recent Culture Strategy and associated policies, before inviting participants to discuss what more might be done in light of new emergencies. No preparation required, though some background documentation will be circulated ahead of time. This is an exciting opportunity to interact with ongoing policy experimentation.  

Spaces are limited. Please RSVP by writing to urbanlaboratory@ucl.ac.uk with 'policy-making workshop' in the subject line. A Zoom link will be sent to registered attendees prior to the event.

About the speaker

Laia Gasch

Originally from Barcelona, Laia Gasch Casals has made London her home where she has lived and worked for over 25 years. She is Senior Advisor for Culture and the Creative Industries for the Deputy Mayor of London and has been key in positioning culture as a driver for London’s good growth with bold new policies. She devised and led the establishment of Creative Enterprise Zones, the creation of the London Borough of Culture, the appointment of a Night Czar and investment in the creative economy including film, fashion, design and a new Games Festival for London. She has been instrumental in creating the first ever London Cultural Infrastructure Plan and the most pro-culture London Plan ever,  leading on new policies for affordable workspace and the ground-breaking Agent of Change.  She is Director of Partnerships for the World Cities Culture Forum, a leadership network of 40 global cities. Previously, she ran BBC creative programmes for five years, was Creative Producer for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and led projects for Tate Modern, Southbank Centre and London International Festival of Theatre.