Louise Blackwell’s Article in The Stage
One of our Co-Directors, Louise Blackwell, was recently published with her opinion article “We must empower visionary young people to change theatre for the better” in The Stage. She writes about the need for creative programmes for young people and how we may better support them to develop their growth and creative careers.
You can read the full article by visiting here and registering for a free account to unlock 5 free articles from The Stage a month.
At LOOKOUT we believe young people, professional artists, teachers, parents, carers and the wider community can all benefit from having more opportunities to be creative and share ideas. We work in schools, colleges, art spaces, community hubs, workshops and anywhere creativity is being put into practice, to start conversations, share skills and make stuff happen.
We set up LOOKOUT in 2018 because we want to listen to and learn from young people, be curious and explore creative potential. We work with lots of artists and practitioners who want to work with young people in order to develop their own work. We recognise the power of positive role-modelling, myth-busting, and access to experiences in building confidence and unleashing potential.
I grew up in Crawley, West Sussex and the brilliant drama teacher I had at school suggested I apply to a place called Dartington College of Arts in Devon to continue my studies. I went there and spent three years learning about how to break the rules of traditional performance and as a result I love making art that is unconventional, interactive, has many influences and connects with people on an emotional and political level. I set up and co-ran a producing organisation called Fuel for 13 years until 2017 when I decided I could be more useful in supporting everyday creativity in different ways.
From a very young age I’ve had a huge interest and involvement in the arts. After completing my A-Levels I studied a degree in Communication Arts – major in Contemporary Dance in North Yorkshire where I collaborated with musicians for a lot of the work I made, learnt to push boundaries and experiment with how and where the work I made was performed.
After graduating I moved to Brighton and was keen to learn about ‘behind the scenes’ roles within the arts and also knew I wanted to work with young people. This led me to youth work, working with a theatre company to then having a long and varied career at Komedia (a performing arts venue in Brighton). Keen to learn more about education, I moved to Dv8 College where I spent 5 years as Head of Marketing & Communications. In March 2019 I took the leap into freelancing so I could share my skills and experience with young people as well as develop new creative skills of my own. I currently work with Big Egg Films and Komedia Productions as well as being Co-Director of LOOKOUT.
When I was nine I decided I wanted to play the saxophone because it seemed like it might be a passport to the world for a lad growing up in a tiny village in Nottinghamshire – turns out I was right. Since then I’ve studied a Music BA at the University of Sussex, run improv jazz nights, vintage African music clubnights, played a variety of gigs around the country, and even staged a painting exhibition. As things developed I realised I was a passionate amateur, ultimately more comfortable with helping those with the real confidence and dedication to flourish. This led me to working in education alongside the arts, and to helping young people to succeed in their chosen field, often overcoming social, economic or academic barriers to do so. I’m still proud to tell people I play the saxophone though.