Bread & Roses Missouri seeking caregiver stories for new community-generated play

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By SHERI GASSAWAY
Assistant Editor

Bread & Roses Missouri is creating a play highlighting the lack of caregiving support in the workforce and needs your help in making The Caregiving Project come alive.

While caregiving can be a rewarding experience, it is also hard work and often unpaid especially for women providing it on top of a work schedule that frequently offers little flexibility. When it is paid, it is often low pay and few benefits.

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the U.S. economy loses up to $840 billion annually in economic output due to the suppression of women in the labor force caused by lack of caregiving support.

‘WORKPLACE ISSUE’
“Caregiving is a workplace issue, but there’s not a lot of support for caregivers by employers and policy makers,” said Bread & Roses Executive Director Emily Kohring. “We are hoping to amplify caregivers’ voices and elevate the conversation so that employers and policy makers think differently.”

Bread and Roses Missouri is seeking people who are or have been caregivers, both paid and unpaid, to tell their story about caring for other people – the challenges and the joys. The organization invites:

  • Parents or guardians caring for young children.
  • People giving care to elder relatives.
  • People giving care to relatives with a disability.
  • People who are paid to take care of young children, in-home or in daycare facilities.
  • People who work in nursing homes and care facilities.
  • People who are paid to provide in-home care to others.
  • People who receive support from a caregiver, either now or in the past.

Based on the collected stories, Bread & Roses Missouri’s playwright Mariah Richardson will create a play to uplift people who do the work of caring for other people. Jacqueline Thompson will direct the production, which will be available in the summer and fall of 2024.

The Caregiving Project is supported in part by the Arts & Education Council’s Arts & Healing Initiative. It also received a $10,000 Challenge America award from the National Endowment of the Arts – the first grant Bread & Roses has received from the organization.

“We are thrilled and deeply grateful to receive our first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts,” Kohring said. “The award reinforces the importance of the work we do to celebrate the lives of workers and their families through the arts.”

If you’d like to tell your story of caregiving, or would like to host a story circle with a group of caregivers, visit https://forms.gle/UB7i3NVge5R9XPs98.

Bread and Roses Missouri tells the stories of working people through art, performance and activism. It believes that cultural and creative expression are a means to effect deep and lasting social change.


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