From Campaign to Company: Parents and Carers in Performing Arts Grows its Mission

25 Sep 2017

30 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, Federation of Scottish Theatre, Musicians Union, National Theatre, National Theatre Wales, Nottingham Playhouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe, Society Of London Theatre, Stage Directors UK and UK Music.

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 report identified that 8 out of 10 self employed theatre workers had to turn down work due to caring responsibilities Best Practice Research Interim Report. The need for a long term presence in the performance arts sector was revealed through the work with UK theatres in exploring new approaches to supporting people with caring responsibilities.

“Our work with the consortium showed that the current situation for carers needs a long term voice working in partnership with the performing arts sector, developing strategies to provide organisations with solutions to ensure we get the best people staying in the workforce. 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.”
PIPA Co founders and Directors Anna Ehnold-Danailov and Cassie Raine

PIPA’s new partners include many original consortium organisations who are proud to continue to support PIPA’s work, such as: Actors’ Children’s Trust, Belgrade Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Dundee Rep, English Touring Theatre, Equity, Family Arts Campaign, Hull Truck, ITC, Mercury Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, The Old Vic, One Dance UK, Spotlight, Stellar Quines Theatre Company and UK Theatre. Partners will help drive through change to support carers and parents working in the performing arts.

“Access to work for all, including carers and parents, is crucial to the long term sustainability of the performing arts. I’m excited to be exploring with PIPA how we can remove existing barriers that those with caring responsibilities may have faced, and help shape new working practices at the National Theatre.”
Rufus Norris Artistic Director, National Theatre

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.

“We are delighted to join our new partners PIPA in their fight to create change throughout Performing Arts and honoured to help them expand into the music industry as they grow their mission across all Performing Arts. Their vital work tackling the inequalities confronting parents and carers in the industry is a cause we care deeply about and look forward to joining forces with the campaign. ”
Natalie Williams, Head of Research, UK Music

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.