Louise Rennie

Louise Rennie

I make playful, creative engagements to support social connection and growth.

Location South West UK


  • Louise Rennie made a comment

    This has been excellent. I actually found myself having a conversation with my partner about his previously unmentioned suicidal thoughts during a recent period of illness and we both felt much lighter, and even more connected. Many thanks for that.

  • Being 'selfish' has such negative connotations but I am learning that unless I look after myself properly, at some point someone else will have to. Taking ourselves seriously and 'investing' in ourselves is key. Our mental and physical health is our main asset. If I don't feel strong and happy in myself I know I cannot support anyone else, so to be of any real...

  • This section feels like the front line of this work! Excellent and enlightening. Ive been on both sides of unhelpful listening and on the receiving end of good listening and am moving my support in the right direction I hope. This article really helps, thanks.

  • I work from home but live in a very social village and go to a crochet club once a week. Essentially we sit doing our work half concentrating on that but also catching up and chatting about this and that. It is a great vehicle for being comfortable in each others presence and being supportive/supported without having to ask.

  • As a theatre company manager/director sometimes it really helps to know if someone is going through something specific. For instance, one of my crew was going through a difficult IVF process and it was really hard for her, especially as we were making a show aimed at young kids. Knowing this about her helped me understand why she was being so wobbly and make...

  • I have been subject to all of these issues and it is actually helpful to see them called 'hazards', as it labels them as negatives to be avoided, not just normal issues I am supposed to ignore.

  • Equating mental health with physical health is such an easy, common sense concept that it is a good starting point. With this as a clear message from leadership the other pillars may naturally fall into place

  • This is possibly a little to the side of the topic, however, in the performing arts, this one is quite tricky as people are cast specifically for various physical and mental attributes. I had to write an equal opportunities policy and really struggled to word it in a way that practically reflected and guided real life process.
    If I need 2 male acrobats of a...

  • As an artist who occasionally applies for grant funding, I am having a complex experience with positive discrimination. As a white, British female, most grants see me as a low priority; the only 'asset' I have is my gender. I appreciate the rebalancing of representation but for me, in this context it is depressing and frustrating.
    I was also recently told...

  • For me, whatever I can do to take me out of my head and into present action helps relieve stress. Stress for me is the anticipation of too much to do or the growing list, so the best relief is to reduce the list. Alternatively, being present in my body takes me out of my head, my current favourite is cold water dipping or dancing to loud music.

  • If stress/pressure can be reframed as excitement and enthusiasm then it can be fun and engaging. One has to understand and want to achieve the desired outcome though and the more connected and engaged you are/feel to the work being done the more likely this sense of satisfying, collaborative effort.

  • I was lucky to be born an optimist, I think that might be biology or at least early nurturing, and so have had a 'glass half full' all my life. However if I don't exercise I get low quite quickly and if I don't see other people (I work for myself and often alone at home) my mood drops even quicker. So, all 3 for me

  • My conclusion is that we just need to be kind and considerate as a matter of common sense/decency. Look after yourself and each other. You don't necessarily need someone to tell you with words to know that they aren't feeling great. We are all in this together!
    But I also feel that we are moving through a phase of social evolution and learning, with MH...

  • The way we talk about things influences how we feel about them: the way we talk about MH has an impact on how we feel about it and therefore our potential for healing. Words have power. Mind and body are connected and need to be given equal support for wholistic wellbeing.

  • I run a small theatre company so my experience of the workplace is as an employer/collaborator of a small number of people whose wellbeing is key to the quality of the work we make. For me the best barometer of success of our work is if we have enjoyed it, therefore the most important investment in my business is the time, energy, thought etc that goes into a...

  • Hello, I run a theatre company in the UK and we are hoping to help workplace culture through creative ways to connect and engage developed over 25 years of working with the general public in the street and at events. We want to do serious stuff (like staff surveying and employee engagement) but in a fun and accessible way and understand that we need to stand...

  • Not having the proper resources (money and time) to implement solutions to issues raised as part of a project eg what creative ideas do you have for your community' development? renders the project worse than useless, a 'helicopter' project that reduces future engagement

  • Thinking of a future project for this exercise, this is a really useful checklist to support its creative development

  • @annakenrick I recon it was a typo, but I like "theory of chance"!

  • As an artist my scores were exactly the opposite! We are good at qualitative but not so much at rigour

  • There are so many points to consider for each score I found it hard to sum up to one number. It seemed arbitrary to quantify such a range of factors into one score

  • Absolutely agree. We are also small and have limited capacity to be experts in anything beyond our core mission-to provide creative engagements, but are learning the territory and language here so hoping to assimilate a layer of ongoing self evaluation into our everyday creative process

  • As a theatre practitioner the connection with storytelling was a lightbulb moment for me!

  • I would like a more detailed description of 'people-centred'. I didn't find the outline above to be clear. Could anyone help with this?

  • I absolutely agree. It relies on someone, possibly the artist or someone else, having the correct literacy to transcribe potentially ephemeral or at least indescribable moments into words, that resonate correctly with the person/bot on the other end of the evaluation process. I say potaaaaato, they hear potayyyto!

  • I remember when risk assessment was new to the performing arts. It was seen a novelty and an imposition and was just a form to fill in/ box to tick. Over the years it has become a filter that is just part of how we think about things and even 'common sense'. I feel that evaluation is heading that way. Initially it has been justification of value for funders...

  • Love 'rhythms of learning and collective sense-making'

  • This sounds like heaven! The Arts Council at best gives you a category into which your failure to secure the grant falls, and if you succeed the onus is entirely on you to deliver a report. No relationship or conversation

  • @mandyQuy-verlander we have actually made a piece called 'The Dept of Complaints' for exactly this purpose. It is a creative, even humorous, installation that works with clients on a theme for our questioning, to gather raw, very qualitative, data. I am here to learn how to best evaluate that data and measure its impact.

  • I make street theatre, essentially creative engagements for public settings. Our audiences are passers-by, our funders are the councils and other organisations that book us and the feedback we get is people staying to the end of a show or even favouring us with their momentary attention. The benefits are quite intangible but our best barometer of success is...

  • I was also a little concerned about the graphic as it placed the funders closer to the artist than the audience- between the artist and the audience in fact. As an artist (theatre maker) this is absolutely not how I want to work. In fact, I had to rewrite an arts council grant application this year because I caught myself being swayed towards fitting my work...