NEW YORK CITY: The Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) has announced that it will again partner with the Public Theater to launch the PAAL International Digital Summit 2021. This is the third annual convening from the partnership to date.
PAAL announced on November 10 that arts advocate and actor Karen Olivo will join as its closing keynote speaker. The speaker lineup includes Clint Ramos of Design Action, Roberta Pereira and Jena Yarley of The Playwrights Realm, Patricia McGregor (Hurt Village), Tamanya M. M. Garza (PAAL, Cry It Out), Akima Brown of Reel Families, and Lindsay Jones of No More 10 Out of 12s.
From Dec. 1 to 3, PAAL will gather experts and theatre professionals to provide workshops, case studies, and affinity spaces for institutions and individuals around the theme of “Centering Humanity: Action, Accountability, and Affinity Solutions for Humane and Sustainable Practices in the Performing Arts.”
“From fundraising resources for caregiver funds to return practices that center support, the PAAL Summit creates an opportunity for us to develop more humane and ethical practices as a community,” PAAL director of programming and resources Rachel Spencer Hewitt said in a statement. “We want to abolish the harmful idea that growth happens in isolation. This summit acknowledges fatigue and encourages forward movement with field-wide accountability and support.”
The summit aims to explore how to create sustainable caregiver support and operationalize humane practices that can benefit everyone, and engaging with the how-to and impact of humane practices and caregiver support that center restorative justice, anti-racism, gender inclusion, and the interconnected access needs of the disability community.
According to LaNeshe Miller White, executive director of Theatre Philadelphia and member of PAAL board of directors, the summit will provide resources for stable and sustainable support amid ever-changing national and local policies. In a statement, Miller White emphasized the importance of leadership and of individuals gathering for action around the conversation of how to keep support relevant in this moment.
Along with the summit, PAAL has also announced the launch of PAAL Cohorts, a new program that will begin directly following the summit. The program will consist of shared learning spaces for representatives from local theatres engaged or preparing to engage in parent and caregiver support. PAAL will provide continued guidance and connection to experts as the organizations develop and implement solutions.
All participants in the PAAL Summit will have support in three phases: access to the summit sessions to gather and engage with applied solutions; shared worksheets and resources for piloting, modeling, and implementation; and automatic admission into PAAL Cohorts in the spring and fall of 2022 for community feedback and support.
The artistic components of the event, sessions, and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Registration is now open. All registrants will receive access to the 2020 sessions for expanded learning opportunities, and all sessions will be interactive and include takeaway materials for application.
The Parent Artist Advocacy League is a national advocacy organization aiming to serve as a resource hub, community, and solutions generator for caregivers in the performing arts and media and the institutions who support them. PAAL created the first all-gender, all-discipline national PAAL Childcare Grants for individuals and institutions and the PAAL National Handbook of Best Practices for Parent and Caregiver Support.
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