The Tottenham UpLIFTers

From 2015 to 2021, the UpLIFTers programme in Tottenham taught its young participants about theatre, performance and production, engaging the local community throughout the journey.

Our team have travelled the world, leading not only to the discovery of fantastic artists delivering exceptional work but also innovative models of practice and engagement, working with young people and wider communities to create remarkable pieces of theatre.

In 2015, we decided to focus this work in Tottenham and embarked upon a long-term programme of activity. We worked with local schools, artists, young people, arts organisations and the local council and bringing them together with international artists and companies, building partnerships and developing critically-acclaimed commissions which celebrate everything Tottenham is.

Tottenham UpLIFTers was an artistic collaboration between two local schools; Duke’s Aldridge Academy School and The Vale School, conceived and co-directed by Darren O’Donnell and Alice Fleming. This five-year artistic partnership introduced young students to the arts – inspiring, supporting and enabling them to create their own participatory arts experiences with and for the local community.

The programme primarily targeted a cohort of 30+ students and focused on teaching the skills of basic event production (conceiving, planning, scheduling, budgeting, promoting, executing, de-briefing) and how to work and collaborate with local organisations and businesses to create locally focussed events.

Working with them for their entire school career, the UpLIFTers activity strengthened and built the local community, as the wider school, family, friends and other members engaged and supported the students in their creative adventures.