Happy Holidays!

2021 neither started nor finished in a way anyone would have wanted or predicted for the performing arts. In many ways, dealing with the consequences of the global pandemic it feels as if little has changed, yet in other ways so much is different. We are somewhere between old and new ways of working, torn between wanting things to get back to normal, and the desire to do things differently.

A key focus for us at PiPA has been about providing consistent data, insight and resources to equip the sector with the tools it needs to continue to strengthen its foundations.

Internally we have been building our infrastructure as we prepare to scale our work in order to increase reach and impact. PiPA’s capacity has grown substantially over the last year, with Trustees and staff working side by side to develop a framework for a strong and sustainable PiPA capable of supporting the wider sector in the face of ever changing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

With our growing membership of Charter Partners across Music, Dance and Theatre and a dedicated Board of Trustees, we are well placed to transform insights into action and respond to future opportunities.
We are looking forward to working with you in 2022!
Anna, Cassie and PiPA Team
In June, PiPA welcomed five new Board Members: (left to right) Laura Harvey, Shazia Mustafa, Constance Oak, James Preston, and Deborah Sawyerr. You can find out more about our new Board Members here.
We have welcomed 4 new staff members this year: (left to right) Olajumoke Taiwo (Finance Manager), Jackie Malcolm (Scotland Manager), Eleanor Rands (Return and Retain Project Manager) and Dr Angela Pickard (Dance Research Lead).

Covid Research

Throughout the pandemic our rigorous programme of research and industry collaborations has provided data-driven insights highlighting and raising awareness of the vulnerability of carers and parents throughout this pandemic, who have at various points faced round the clock caring and home school responsibilities. Our research has also identified that many carers and parents have taken on additional caring responsibilities for elderly and vulnerable people affected by Covid. The uncertainty of the future of the industry combined with the precariousness of care settings and education provision is for many becoming an untenable predicament.

On 28th January 2021 we published the PiPA Covid Report which identified:

  • One in four women are doing 90% or more of the childcare.

  • A mental health crisis with eight out of ten respondents reported significant stress due to the pandemic.

  • Over one third of women with caring responsibilities reporting that they are overwhelmed or in fight or flight mode.

  • Almost half (45%) of D/deaf and disabled respondents class themselves as ‘really stressed’ or in ‘fight or flight’ mode.

  • Seven out of ten parents and carers (72%) are considering abandoning their careers. Women are 50% more likely than men to be uncertain about their futures in the performing arts.
Find the full report here: www.pipacampaign.org/research/covidreport

Creative Freelancers

As a direct response to this we took part in the Mayor of London’s Programme Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery, with Fuel Theatre. We worked with freelance director Sarah Meadows who, as part of the programme, launched a survey in date to investigate the key challenges faced by freelance parents and carers, as well as supportive working practices which could enable them to meet work and family commitments.

The findings and recommendations from this survey have been shared with the GLA for review in early 2022. We have taken invaluable learning from this process and integrated it into the PiPA Charter Programme to ensure performing arts organisations are better equipped to support freelance parents and carers.

Remote Working Toolkit

A PiPA survey conducted in May 2021 identified significant appetite and opportunity among theatre sector workers for embedding remote working and a more robust and flexible infrastructure into daily working practices. Published in July 2021, in collaboration with SOLT and UK Theatre, PiPA designed a practical toolkit to support managers to assess the potential opportunities and challenges for organisations looking to implement various types of remote working strategies.

There are many factors to consider, and no singular approach to working in a post-Covid landscape. This resource provides clear guidelines and strategies for identifying various options and how they can be adapted depending on the size or remit of the organisation:

Music Research:

Following our Music Focus groups earlier this year, 2022 will see the launch of a PiPA survey investigating the challenges facing parents and carers in Classical Music.
If you would like to find out more about PiPA’s Music Research, or if you would like to be involved in the development of the Music Best Practice Charter, contact Cassie@pipacampaign.com.

Dance Research:

This year we launched our research work in Dance. Our focus in 2022 will be to trial supportive strategies with dance companies and continue to hold Focus Groups for Ballet dancers, rehearsal directors and choreographers. If you would like to take part in the focus groups or find out more about the research in Dance please email Anna@pipacampaign.com.

Return and Retain Project:

This week we will be opening applications for our ‘Return and Retain’ professional development project, which will provide 15 Yorkshire-based freelance parents and carers who are from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the performing arts with a 6 month programme of professional development.

Find out more about the project and how to apply here.

Scotland Pilot:

New PiPA Staff Member Jackie Malcolm will be leading our strategic and business development in Scotland in 2022, including the development and trial of a new, lighter version of our Charter Programme.

If you work for a Scotland-based performing arts organisations that would be interest in participating in this trial, please do put them in touch with Jackie@pipacampaign.com.

PiPA Charter Partners have responded to the ongoing challenges Covid presented with unflinching determination and innovation. Many have found new ways to support their parent and carer workforce through implementing the tools and multiple resources available as part of their Charter P programme.

This work, along with the number of organisations that have chosen to join our programme for change this year is a real testament to their commitment to make the performing arts industry more inclusive and accessible.

Here are our Top 4 examples of strategies our Charter Partners have introduced this year:

Previously seen as unattainable, this year has seen an exciting increase in the number of job shares being offered across our Partner organisations. Notable examples include Chichester Festival Theatre's production of South Pacific, where actors Gina Beck and Alex Young shared the role of Nellie Forbush, and the RSC's The Comedy of Errors, where the role of Adriana was split between pregnant Hedydd Dylan and new mum Naomi Sheldon.

We can’t wait to see more examples of this fantastic practice in 2022!
Flexible and Remote Working Practices:
Instead of seeing flexible and remote working as temporary pandemic practices, many of our partners have embedded these new policies into their organisations. The RSC shared how they have successfully done this in our September Remote Working Webinar, which you can watch here.

Across our Charter Partners we have seen careful review of existing policies, and the implementation of entirely new ones to ensure parents and carers in their organisations are supported. This includes a review or introduction of a Children in the Workplace Policy to provide clear guidance for parents and carers during caring emergencies.

We have been delighted to see many organisations make full use of staff surveys that inquire into caring responsibilities, so that these needs can be factored in and also inform strategy. Thank you to PiPA Charter Partner English National Ballet, who supported the creation of our new Charter Programme Toolkit resource Returning Parents and Carers to Work.

New Charter Partners:

We are proud that even through the ongoing pandemic performing arts organisations of all shapes and sizes have committed to building back better by joining our Charter Programme. A very warm welcome to the following new Charter Partners:

If your organisation is interested in joining the nationwide network of over 50 PiPA Charter Partners, and receive access to the PiPA toolkit, with over 70 resources, including sample policies, case studies and how-to-guides, please contact Matt@pipacampaign.com

Earlier this year we were delighted to announce our partnership with UK Music as part of their Diversity Taskforce's Ten-Point Plan. Along with 12 other socially engaged charities and organisations we will be working to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion un the UK's music sector.

Parents and Carers are a sub-sector of every protected characteristic, and we are proud to be working with UK Music to the remove systematic barriers that push these experienced women and men out of the industry.

You can read all about the progress achieved in the first year of the 10 Point Plan, along with the challenges we still face, here in the Taskforce’s recent report with PiPA’s partnership with UK Music mentioned on page 15: Moving the Dial on Diversity: One Year On: A Transparency Review of UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan.

Please note that the PiPA office will be CLOSED from 23rd December to 3rd January. As an organisation that promotes work-life balance it's important to lead by example. The Team work exceptionally hard throughout the year and all have families/ cats/ dogs/ ourselves to take care of. We will be back to serve the industry at full capacity in January 2022. Our team will not be checking their emails. We trust you will understand.

Happy Holidays everyone!
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