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.
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.