National Partnership Announced: PAAL and StateraArts | PAAL

StateraArts and Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts (PAAL) announce their national partnership with the goal to create complimentary and robust resources, solutions, and programming toward intersectional gender parity and sustainability through collaboration.

Deriving their name from the Latin word for balance, Statera is a national non-profit that takes positive action to bring women* into full and equal participation in the arts. They accomplish this through innovative programming, which includes dynamic conferences, their free resource directory, their membership network, and their national mentorship program. Statera also does this by working arm-in-arm with other organizations.

PAAL is an all-gender, all-discipline, national organization committed to acting as a resource hub and solutions replicator and generator for individuals and institutions seeking parent and caregiver support in the performing arts. Their programs include local chapter meet-ups, the first national all-discipline PAAL Childcare Grants, the PAAL Awarded national list of Family-Friendly theaters, and their PAAL National Handbook of Best Practices for Supporting Caregivers currently in pilot case studies.

Melinda Pfundstein is the Co-founder and Executive Director of StateraArts. Rachel Spencer Hewitt is the Founder of PAAL. The two first met at a TCG Think Tank on gender equity in 2017. They reconnected at Statera’s National Conference in Milwaukee last October and found that their organizations had grown on parallel paths. Hewitt presented a session at StateraCon with Adriana Gaviria called “Motherhood and Leadership: Initiatives for Upward Mobility”** and also authored an article for the Statera Blog about Motherhood Bias. In the early weeks of 2019, Pfundstein and Hewitt met in NYC and hatched a plan for an innovative partnership with the dual purpose of enhancing the impact of their missions and accelerating policy change in the arts industry.

“Statera’s vision is to normalize humane and holistic creative environments where all people can show up as their most authentic, whole selves,” says Pfundstein. “PAAL is taking beautiful, sweeping action to show us a better way for organizations to support their people, and for parents and caregivers to advocate for themselves for such support.”

PAAL and Statera are already partnering through Statera Mentorship chapters in Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia to ensure caregivers have access and support to engage in mentorship opportunities and events. Statera always welcomes families, and PAAL is proud to come on board to help put that mission into action. 

PAAL and StateraArts will soon announce the first recipients of the PAAL-Statera Childcare Institution Match Grant that has been given to an organization selected for their commitment to gender inclusion, childcare support, and to professional development for career sustainability. 

Statera and PAAL have planned several points of partnership for the year ahead including:

  • A free Parent Artist Resource Directory shared on both sites
  • Statera Mentorship Chapters collaborating with local PAAL Local Chapter cities and representatives
  • Statera’s 4th National Conference in NYC – full family access and PAAL consultants
  • The PAAL-Statera Childcare Match Grants for institutions
  • Statera and PAAL liaisons to serve each organization internally
  • Various Bridge Projects (to be announced in the months ahead)


PAAL’s Rachel Spencer Hewitt and Adriana Gaviria lead a workshop on “Motherhood and Leadership: Initiatives for Upward Mobility” at Statera Conference III in 2018.

“It has always been PAAL’s mission to affect change by integrating the caregiver conversation into the landscape of effective action for equity and inclusion,” says Hewitt. “PAAL is an all gender, all discipline, national support organization for individuals and institutions that believes parent and caregiver support must be acknowledged through an intersectional lens. Caregiver responsibilities affect all people – including those without children – and advocating for and implementing supportive policy within the conversation of inclusion will revolutionize the concept of inclusion for everyone. We are thrilled to partner with StateraArts through mentorship programs, grants, and more in order to illustrate the relevance and interconnectedness of our collective points of access. This partnership will, as a result, create more robust opportunities through collaborative programming for individual artists and institutions to grow in sustainability, empathy, and efficacy.”

Pfundstein, who is a mother to three children, says, “I am proud that Statera and PAAL have found one another to hone the parent-advocacy aspect of Statera’s work to bring women into full and equal participation in the arts. This is the area closest to my own mother-heart, and I am grateful to PAAL for advocating for me. We are stronger together.”

**Statement on inclusion:

Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts uses the caregiver term “Parent” in order to be intentionally gender-comprehensive for all caregivers in the performing arts.

While PAAL sometimes focuses our activism on specific issues of discrimination against theatre mothers in our work, PAAL also recognizes the intersectionality of all forms of injustice, and how these inequities particularly impact those from traditionally marginalized or underrepresented identity groups. PAAL asserts that socially constructed, bias-based obstacles formed against caregivers in theatre and within the caregiver community are forms of injustice, and advocates to eliminate these obstacles for all parent artists.

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