Parents in performing arts campaign scales up


Thirty-one of the UK’s leading performing arts companies have given their backing to campaign group Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PIPA) to form a limited company that will tackle the inequalities faced by parents and carers in maintaining successful careers across the sector.

PIPA started life as a campaign in 2016, with support from 18 leading performing arts organisations led by The Old Vic​. The new company will be supported by former consortium members as well as new partners including: BECTU, the Federation of Scottish Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse,  the Musicians Union, the National Theatre, National Theatre Wales, Nottingham Playhouse, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Society Of London Theatre, Stage​ ​Directors​ ​UK and the UK​ ​Music​ ​and​ ​Writers’​ ​Guild​ ​of​ ​Great​ ​Britain.

PIPA’s campaign has called for change across the industry, including job sharing and improved rehearsal scheduling. A year into the Consortium, co-founders Anna Ehnold-Danailov and Cassie Raine have turned the PIPA ​campaign into a limited company in order to address the scale of change that’s needed and to ensure that work is ongoing, and monitored.

PIPA’s interim Best Practice Report identified that eight out of 10 self employed theatre workers had to turn down work due to caring responsibilities.

“​Becoming​ ​a​ ​limited​ ​company​ ​means we​ ​continue​ ​our​ ​work​ ​in​ ​becoming​ ​the​ ​go-to​ ​resource​ ​for​ ​research,​ ​knowledge,
strategy​ ​and​ ​solutions​ ​for​ ​carers​ ​and​ ​parents​ ​and​ ​helping​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​business resilience​ ​in​ ​arts​ ​organisations,​ ​ensuring​ ​the​ ​views​ ​and​ ​rights​ ​of​ ​those​ ​with caring​ ​responsibilities​ ​are​ ​uppermost​ ​in​ ​national​ ​strategic​ ​arts​ ​planning,” says PIPA.

PIPA’s focus has already expanded to include the music and dance industries to build a wider picture of current practices across all performance arts.

Following the Best Practice research project carried out with theatres in 2016, in November PIPA will share its theatre research findings and launch its Best Practice Charter, providing guidance for theatres drawn up from research findings from over 1,000 contributors working in theatre.

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