[bio & background]

imageedit_1_2213285408Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts (PAAL) is a national resource hub and advocacy organization for individuals and institutions to address the lack of support and silence surrounding caregiving in the performing arts. PAAL’s advocacy for creating supportive structures, work culture, and sustainable solutions for caregivers has been mentioned in numerous publications, including The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, HowlRound Theatre Commons, and WAMU for NPR News in Washington D.C.

PAAL initiates conversations across the country among theatre professionals, both employer and employed. PAAL created the first all-discipline, all-gender National Childcare Grants that were distributed this year. Through their National Handbook of Best Practices for caregiver support – currently in pilot – their PAAL Award list of family-friendly theatres, and developing PAAL HR-Health and PAAL-Ed programs, PAAL promotes best practices that abolish discriminatory practices and language – especially against pregnant women and mothers – by raising awareness, developing work culture protocol, addressing the childcare dilemma, promoting and creating pathways for caregivers to work toward parity, and providing resources for self-protection. This year, PAAL was selected as one of ten “Changemaker” organizations invited to take the stage at the Women’s Day on Broadway event in New York City.

PAAL’s programs distinguish their resources between PAAL Network for institutions and PAAL Community for individuals, with PAAL HR Health acting as the bridge between freelance and institution to create a consistent culture of health and compliance.

RACHEL SPENCER HEWITT is the founder of Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts. She has participated in national think tanks, on panels, and facilitated workshops on parenting in the arts at multiple gatherings, including the national TCG conferences, BroadwayCon, and StateraArts’ annual conference on gender equity in the arts. She is also an equity actor with an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama whose work includes Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional theatres.