Begun in 2017, the Orchard Project’s Family Initiative looks to raise the bar for all arts organizations by saying child care should not just be an occasional option but standard operating procedure. While the Orchard Project has always been family friendly, it now provides form-fitting childcare to visiting artists. The Orchard Project Family Initiative is not restricted to one week or one project, and provides different resources to parents based on age and need.
In it's first year, the Initiative provided care for six different resident artists — from playwrights to actors. From the message it created for our students to the atmosphere it created at group events, the effect went far beyond the opportunities those artists had to create bold, new work.
The simple truth is that the field makes it tremendously difficult for theatre makers with young families to have the time and space to create new work, and if anyone is interested in the representation of diverse voices on stage, such a commitment is most important at institutions like the Orchard Project, which overwhelmingly seed the content produced by theatres around the country.