I no longer feel sneaky or bossy or misunderstood or not understood when asking for what I need to do my best job with my creativity, my body, my mind. I need time, rest, challenge (healthily), supportive teams, creative teams, openness, and willingness.
All theatre venues have a dedicated and equipped space for moms and their kids that includes free babysitting services.
Flexible working hours for all contract workers in the sector.
Artistic programming for kids during rehearsals and performances.
In 5 years time…
Having babies and children on site and included is “the norm.” Acknowledging and including children acknowledges and includes the parents/ carers. Artists do not have to pick between starting a family and maintaining their careers. “Care” goes beyond care for children. These strategies are implemented in sectors beyond the arts! Yay!
People don’t feel they have to sacrifice their ambition, dreams, career because they prioritize their family and their well being.
Children, their voices and their experiences are valued by the wider community (ie. not just their family, friends and schools).
Five years in the future…
Childcare provided on site for artists during rehearsal times.
5-day rehearsal week.
Paid returnships for new parents/ caregivers.
Advisors for new parents working in the performing arts who can offer individual support and recommendations about how to continue your artistic practice with new babies in your life. This could be a network of volunteer artists who can offer advice.
Easy access to affordable childcare through arts organizations. Programs recognizing the different needs of freelance/ regular employees. Recognition of partners’ roles in supporting artists (i.e. when I’m in tech, so is my wife).
CCA, TAC & OAC recognize childcare as an artist’s expense in the budget.
It is a given that when a company has a performer/ director/ designer they take child care into account/ flex hours/ other accommodations and that is reflected in their annual budget.
Affordable, flexible childcare specifically aimed at theatre community exist in one centralized spot. And the entire community is aware of it – ie. childcare is no longer an afterthought.
At conferences, in workshops at shows and in theatre offices across the country there are kids present who are part of the art of it all. They are welcome. Artist parents are making work and being parents happily.
Artists bring kids/ family to residency periods and feel supported. There are more families in all our audiences. It feels normalized to have kids throughout the space during work and show hours. There is a caregiving line in all of our show budgets to apply to specific needs of artists. We ask everyone we work with how we can support if they are caregivers. Not wait for them to advocate for themselves.
2025: The COC and the Ballet have an in-house caregiving space with quality programming and facilities, for arts workers to take time to see a show.
My own work space has a 3 or 4 day work week, 5 hours per day in office/ work from home flexibility/ a room dedicated to young persons/ aging persons to come and spend the day with me at work, with a caregiver(s).
Rehearsal days shorter, week shorter. Caregiving (and accessibility) are seen as hard costs, not add-ons or dreams. (Artist wages) and funding support from Gov and arms-length councils have gone up significantly to reflect real costs of caring for people and process.
Please share your story and vision for the future of caregivers in the performing arts with us. All submissions will be treated anonymously.