As part of Poet in the City Producers, Poet in the City and Regent's Place present a series of additional skills workshops for early-career producers designed to further develop professional skills needed to boost employability.

How to be a Creative Producer part 1: The Business of Being Freelance

Ever wondered how to put together an invoice? Is navigating HMRC giving you a headache? 

This practical workshop will focus on business development as a freelancer. You will learn how to write and file invoices and understand financial wellbeing as a self employed producer. We'll look deeper into what it means to be self employed and how we can better understand the management of our finances for tax, National Insurance, living costs and future career.

With over 12 years experience in the field, this workshop will be led by choreographer and specialist trainer Cathy Waller, featuring guest speaker, award-winning cultural producer and founder of Our Mel, Annalisa Toccara.

Who is this workshop for?

  • Young people aged 16-30 or early-career producers of any age. 
  • Alumni of producers development programmes looking to build on and develop skills learnt on the course.
  • Anyone seeking to develop their professional skills at the beginning stages of their freelance careers.

Look out for How to be a Creative Producer Part 2: Marketing Yourself on Wednesday 16th December.


Facilitator: Cathy Waller 

After working as a Choreographer previously on various projects with the BBC, Tate Modern, Breakin’ Convention, Barbican and Tandawzi (Kenya), Cathy secured the Blueprint Bursary from East London Dance and Sadler’s Wells, creating Cathy Waller Company in 2012. The Company completed a 17 date tour of their first work Tempo, including performances at Lilian Baylis, Stratford Circus, West End Live and Sadler’s Wells Sampled. Shortly after Cathy became the recipient of the London Dance Award 2012, fro previous winners the Ballet Boyz.

In late 2012, Cathy became disabled and began on a journey to develop new ways of working as an artist. Following this, Cathy Waller Company have since created a Double Bill and completed 2 outdoor tours commissioned by Without Walls and Gi20, performing around the UK at National Theatre, SIRF, GDIF, Hat Fair and Liberty Festival. Alongside choreographing for the past 12 years, Cathy also works as a Movement Director in theatre and musical theatre. Most notably, Cathy was Movement Director for Graeae’s 5* award- winning The Solid Life of Sugar Water, which completed a National Tour in 2015 ending with a 3 week run at the National Theatre in 2016.

Cathy regularly leads workshops and masterclasses internationally, using her unique contemporary aesthetic and collaboration with music as a base. Teaching credits include; Laban, GDA, The Place, DanceEast and Sadler’s Wells.

Using skills developed over 12 years in the Arts, Cathy works as a consultant with particular focus in accessibility awareness, writing grant proposals for artists and organisations, and provides tax workshops to help create better understanding of finances for Artists.

Guest speaker: Annalisa Toccara

Annalisa is an award-winning cultural producer, communications and marketing consultant and journalist. With a degree in Theology and an incoming MA in International Public and Political Communication from The University of Sheffield, Annalisa is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

In 2016, Annalisa founded a leading social enterprise, Our Mel, dedicated to exploring cultural identity, Black history and heritage. Annalisa organises community events, empowering & inspiring people to make positive, sustainable change as well as workshops around equality, racial equity and digital communication.

In 2017, Annalisa launched Sheffield’s first Black History Month Festival, a month-long arts and cultural celebration, and became the Vice-Chair of the BAMER hub at Sheffield Equality Hub Network. In 2018, Annalisa started Toccara Laurent Agency, a creative communications agency specialising in brand identity, website design and digital communication. In 2019, Annalisa joined the Board of Directors at Bloc Projects, a visual and contemporary arts organisation based in Sheffield and joined the Board of Directors at Sheffield Creative Guild, a membership cooperative connecting creatives.

Annalisa received a Women’s Centenary award in 2018 and was named on the Northern Power Women 2019 Future List, which recognises those who have contributed and are making a difference in their communities, raising awareness of gender equality across the North of England. In 2020, Annalisa received the ATHENA SCR International Young Professional Leadership Award and became a finalist in the Inspiring Women of Sheffield awards.

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