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Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts (PAAL) - Best Practices Handbook

PAAL has compiled the first contributions to their Best Practices Handbook for Parent Artists and Employers to be available nationally to theatres in the United States. The handbook consists of featured interviews with professional parent artists and supportive institutions translated into guide-sheets and principles that can apply to a wide range of institution levels, from Broadway to Regional to festival-size theatres. Topics include the intersectional and intergenerational effects of parent discrimination, true stories of individual parent-artist discrimination and job loss, and research recommendations for reducing discrimination.


Directory of Family Friendly Theatres Awarded by PAAL for Best Practices

The PAAL Awards are national recognition awards for theatre institutions, companies, and organizations that engage in parent-inclusive practices. The awards are rolling and nominations stay open. PAAL will review each submission and notify theatres that qualify for inclusion on the awards list. Nominate your organization here. 


Explore: Parenting | Human Rights Campaign

“The number of LGBTQ-headed families continues to grow, as does our need to secure legal equality, fairness and respect for LGBTQ parents and to provide environments where all children are welcome, supported and loved. HRC provides current resources that address the many potential paths to parenthood as well as tools for issues facing LGBTQ-headed families or LGBTQ youth.


Family Equality Council (contributed by Statera Arts)

Founded in 1979 at the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the organization that grew into Family Equality Council was driven by the same fundamental inequality that drives our work today: that caring, loving parents are being denied equal opportunity to form and sustain families because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.





“This document provides guidance regarding unlawful disparate treatment under the federal EEO laws of workers with caregiving responsibilities.”



“An eligible employee who is a covered servicemember’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin may also take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for the servicemember with a serious injury or illness. An employee does not need to use leave in one block. When it is medically necessary or otherwise permitted, employees may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule. Employees may choose, or an employer may require, use of accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. If an employee substitutes accrued paid leave for FMLA leave, the employee must comply with the employer’s normal paid leave policies.”


SPIGGLE LAW FIRM | Caregiver Discrimination in the Workplace

Caregiver discrimination, also known as ‘family responsibilities discrimination,’ occurs when an employer discriminates against someone based on his or her caregiving responsibilities. While there is no single statute that protects those who are subject to discrimination because they have caregiver responsibilities, there are a number of laws that together provide such protection for caregivers. These laws are:

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects both women and men who need to take leave to care for a child or a family member.

  • The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents discrimination against those who provide care to disabled family members.

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prevents discrimination on the basis of any sex stereotype, and it applies to both men and women. This means that an employer cannot deny leave to a man to care for his child because “that is something his wife should do.”

  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers over 40 and can apply to those with caregiver responsibilities.

  • State laws Like the D.C. Human Rights Act (DCHRA): Some states and localities provide additional protection. For instance, unlike federal law, the DCHRA makes discrimination based on sexual orientation unlawful.”



PAAL Childcare Grants

“These grants are for parent-artist creating in the United States seeking funding for general artistic and/or general professional childcare support or project-specific childcare support. Union membership not required. All theatrical disciplines and administrative positions are eligible to apply for these grants. Pregnant Parent Artists and Artists in Late Stages of the Adoption Process are welcome and qualified to apply. Applications open in the fall.”

Sustainable Arts Foundation

“The Sustainable Arts Foundation is a non-profit foundation supporting artists and writers with families. Our mission is to provide financial awards to parents pursuing creative work. Too often, creative impulses are set aside to meet the wonderful, but pressing, demands of raising a family. The foundation’s goal is to encourage parents to continue pursuing their creative passion, and to rekindle it in those who may have let it slide.”


Abrons Arts Center

New York, NY

Abrons Arts Center, a program of Henry Street Settlement in New York City, will again run their AIRspace for Parent Artists, a six-week summer residency with a generous artist stipend and free summer arts camp for the artist’s child/ren.


Providence, RI

AS220 is offering tuition fellowships and childcare stipends for parents to attend Practice//Practice, a 4-day professional development residency program for arts administrators.

Aunt Karen’s Farm

Mount Vision, NY

Aunt Karen’s Farm will host four families in residence for one week each, with accompanying childcare stipends.

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC)

Boulder, CO

BETC’s Generations program, which supports the development of plays by parent playwrights, is now in its eighth year; the program provides a one-week residency with prize money, childcare stipend, travel, lodging, and a per diem.


Sisters, OR

Caldera will support parent artists with stipends, and will also ensure that at least one parent artist is paid to serve as a selection panelist.

Camargo Foundation

Cassis, France

The Camargo Foundation, located in the south of France, is formalizing its longstanding support of parents with access to local schools and activities, and additional stipends to support the cost of living and travel.


Cuttyhunk Island, MA

The Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency, a semi-annual eight-day writing workshop and retreat, will offer a scholarship to one or two parent writers.

Elsewhere Studios

Panoia, CO

Elsewhere Studios, located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, will support four parent artists in residence with their families by connecting them to local activities and camps, and offering them generous stipends.

Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Waterford, CT

Select applicants to the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference will now be eligible for funds to help cover childcare, transportation, food, and lodging.

Gallery Aferro

Newark, NJ

Gallery Aferro, an artists’ studio and community center, will again provide six-month studio space residencies, a generous stipend, and a budget for two parent artists or collectives to develop their work.


Lovell, ME

Hewnoaks, a residency for writers, visual artists, and performing artists in rural Maine, will again offer two $500 childcare stipends to parents who are in residence without their children.

Kala Art Institute

Berkeley, CA

Kala is now in its eighth year of running a Parent Artist Residency Program which offers studio residencies, classes, children’s art camps, and professional development consultations to selected artists.

Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC)

Tallahassee, FL

MANCC, at the Florida State University School of Dance, will expand their previous support for parents and their collaborators by offering an increased number of childcare stipends.

Marble House Project

Dorset, VT

Marble House Project is entering its seventh summer of running a two-week Family Friendly Session; it offers a rich and well-considered camp program for children while their parents are in residence.

Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing

Aquinnah, MA

MVICW offers an intensive workshop and supportive community for writers at all stages. Their Parent Writer Fellowship, established in 2016, covers tuition and lodging, as well as childcare stipends for writers with children.


North Adams, MA

Since 2018 and in response to Hurricane Maria, the Studios at MASS MoCA has committed to fully funding emergency relief residencies for artists currently living in Puerto Rico. This grant will designate one of these awards for an artist with children.

Movement Research

New York, NY

Movement Research supports movement-based artists in New York City. With this grant, they will launch a new Parent Artist Residency Program which includes free classes, subsidized rehearsal space, plus a stipend and funds for childcare.

New Harmony Project

Indianapolis, IN

The New Harmony Project has run a residency for writers in film, television, and theater for 32 years; this grant will formalize and increase their support to parent writers.

Renaissance House

Oak Bluffs, MA

Renaissance House — a project of the Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation For Artists in Need — has hosted a family-friendly writing residency on Martha’s Vineyard for over twenty years. They will host two parent writers and offer day care for their accompanying children.

Santa Fe Art Institute

Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe Art Institute will continue to welcome parent artists to be in residence with their families as part of their thematic residency.

SPACE on Ryder Farm

Brewster, NY

SPACE on Ryder Farm will continue a family-friendly residency they’ve been hosting for six years. It’s one of the most thoughtful programs we’ve seen, where the needs of both parents and children are perfectly addressed.

Wassaic Project

Wassaic, NY

Wassaic Project, in upstate New York, will support two artists with families from under-represented communities for free, two-week-long residencies, including a $500 need-based and unrestricted stipend for each artist.

Watkins College of Art

Nashville, TN

Watkins College of Art will subsidize summer camp tuition for the children of parent residents in its low-residency MFA program.

Women’s Studio Workshop

Rosedale, NY

The Women’s Studio Workshop, located a couple hours north of New York City, offers three fully-subsidized, two- to four-week residencies for female artists working in printmaking, book making, ceramics, or photography.




Note on Child Care Providers
All parents and guardians are responsible for vetting and hiring care. PAAL is not a caregiver service and assumes no responsibility for caregiver providers hired by parents or guardians.

Broadway Babysitters (NYC, NJ, and more) - Vetted, experienced sitters that are referral-only, CPR trained, Special Needs trained, and background checked. Mobile insurance coverage available for on-site care. “We provide top-notch childcare, both short-term and long-term for NYC families, and also provide affordable childcare for artists.”

Seed Art Share (RDU) - “Since 2010, Seed has made it our mission to support parents and families attending  and working in our local theatre community.”

Creative Caretakers (Philadelphia) - “Creative Caretakers is an artist driven co-op...developed to offer devoted, flexible caretakers to families in need while simultaneously offering financially dependable, flexible job options for artists.”



Open Networks via Facebook


PAAL – Parent Artist Advocacy League (Facebook)

Mother Artists of Color (PAAL)

PAAL Parent Artists of Children with Special Needs

Single Parents in the Performing Arts (PAAL)

Theatre Moms (Mothers Only)

Working Theatre Moms (Mothers Only)

New Parents in Theatre

Theatre Parents

Indie Theatre Parents

Just for Fun Theatre Group Parents

Busy Theatre Parents

Theatre Parents

Theatre Professionals Who Are Parents

Theatre Kids – for Parents Working in Theatre

Theatre Parents Network


Regional Networks via Facebook


Parents in Chicago Theatre

Industry Families Network Chicago

Chicago Theatre Parents

Chicago Theatre Parents of Wee Ones


Parents in Metro Denver Theatre


PAAL Boston


Philly Baby-Theatre Resource

North Carolina:

PAAL Raliegh


PAAL Nashville

Twin Cities:

Twin Cities Theater Parents

Washington DC:

DC Theatre Parents

Artistic Babysitters for DC (Childcare Resource)


Mother Artist Makers


PIPA UK (official)

Parents in Performing Arts



North American Registry of Midwives - National

A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

National Black Doula Association - National

The National Black Doula Association has an incredible directory of trained and certified black doulas for regions all over the country.

Cornerstone Doulas - Southern CA, Bay Area, Portland, OR

Cornerstone is a doula training program with a directory. With a strong commitment to inclusivity and social justice, our agency is at the forefront of a doula training revolution. This is a great resource for expecting parents who are trans and gender non—conforming.

2019 LGBTQ Family Building Guide

The 2019 LGBTQ Family Building Guide, provided by the Family Equality Council, is designed to help hopeful parents learn more about all approaches to family building and reproductive health for the LGBTQ community. All articles are written by experts in their fields, and the Guide is available to download or read online.

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