Black Motherhood + Parenting New Play Festival

Join us! We are an open-arms organization. If you want to know more about joining our community, contact us here. PAAL is for everyone.

PAAL and Blackboard are committed to a Black Exclusive Budget (BEB) for every budget line item; they will be funding only Black artists in the development and execution of the project (with the exception of the honorariums given to actors in accordance to casting requirements, if necessary).

Dismantling systemic racism through art requires the creation of platforms and opportunities to tell stories that illuminate the reality, obstacles, pain, joy, celebration, humor, revelation, and even mundane aspects of the human experience lived by BIPOC individuals.

This new festival is our response to create storytelling representation through art.

Black Motherhood* and Parenting New Play Festival 2021

Blackboard Plays and PAAL are partnering to present the first Black Motherhood* and Parenting New Play Festival in the spring of 2021.

Zoom workshops are in development to present each in production this spring. The finalists have been selected, and excerpts of their plays were read at the closing session of the PAAL International Summit on December 4, 2020.

"Black parenthood is often overlooked in our national and artistic conversations and represented without the nuance that white-parents-and-parenting stories often include..."

- Garlia Cornelia Jones,

Blackboard Founder;
PAAL Producing Director

Add "BMP New Play Fest" in the space for your donation to be "in honor of" so that we may earmark it for this project.

"Black parenthood is often overlooked in our national and artistic conversations and represented without the nuance that white parents and parenting stories often include," Garlia adds, "My journey as a parent has been alongside the growth of my artistic career. Blackboard was founded years before I had children, but remained part of my life, exposing me to the inequities in our field towards parents, BIPOC artists and women. PAAL's entrance into my life has enabled me to find the balance between advocating for others so they are supported in ways I was not and shedding light on the truths in our industry."

Dismantling systemic racism through art requires the creation of platforms and opportunities to tell stories that illuminate the reality, obstacles, pain, joy, celebration, humor, revelation, and even mundane aspects of the human experience lived by BIPOC individuals. For Black mothers, specifically, obstacles include increased post-birth mortality rates. Black mothers' victories include being some of history's greatest leaders and game changers, like congresswoman Yvonne Braithwaite Burke - the first Black woman elected to the California assembly, and first woman to serve in Congress while expecting a child - and Maya Angelou, beloved poet and activist.

"It's not enough to know Black parenting and caregiving only through the lens of the well-known," adds PAAL founder Rachel Spencer Hewitt, "Art must make seen the experiences of the unknown so that our engagement in society, education, and empathy are rooted in a deep understanding of storytelling that empowers the community it illuminates."

"The Dramatists Guild is honored to support the work of PAAL and BlackBoard," adds Tina Fallon, Executive Director, Creative Affairs at Dramatists Guild of America, "Especially right now, as we are distanced from each other, every opportunity to expand our community is a cause for celebration."