Project History & Timeline
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Project History & Timeline

OUR STORY

THE HISTORY OF BALANCING ACT

In 2015, Theatre Direct identified the growing interest surrounding the issue of accessibility for caregivers in the arts and hosted a focus group session as part of the 2015 WeeFestival. This was followed by further sessions between 2016-2018 hosted by Young People’s Theatre, FIXT POINT, The Theatre Centre and WeeFestival. In 2015, Equity in Theatre’s (EIT) research study Achieving Equality in Theatre called for the need “to create flexible work environments that accommodate different needs, such as those of parents and elder care providers” and in recent years there has been a rise in new initiatives, research studies, residencies and experiments across the country.
In 2016 the Parenting in Performing Arts Campaign (PIPA) was launched in the UK – a highly regarded and constantly expanding initiative that has been a significant inspiration for Balancing Act. Since its inception, PIPA has become a limited company and is now supported by leading industry figures and partner organizations from across the UK. This groundbreaking work has led to similar initiatives sprouting up around the world including Mother Artist Makers (MAM – Ireland) and the Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL – US). The demand for this initiative in our sector is undeniable. Balancing Act will pave the way for Canada to enter the conversation and bring about our own innovations for change.
Balancing Act was founded in 2019 by Theatre Direct in order to affect change and reframe the way in which we support caregivers working in the arts. With no definite end to social distancing measures in sight, Balancing Act has turned our focus on developing digital tools to support artist parents and while also engaging young people through art.  As we continue to navigate through this time of social isolation as a sector, we hope that the resources we develop will prove to be useful tools for organizations not only during this period of isolation but also as we look towards implementing innovative approaches to working flexibly and supporting caregivers when we return to business as usual.

At Theatre Direct, we believe in a simple truth – that people who work in a creative industry hold the key to discovering creative solutions.

ARTIST CAREGIVER ADVOCACY AROUND THE WORLD

Parents & Carers in Performing Arts (UK)

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Mothers who Make (UK)

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Parent-Artist Advocacy League (USA)

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Raising Films

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Sustainable Arts Foundation (USA)

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