Artscape Theatre Centre’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Marlene le Roux was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Youth Development by the Western Cape Department of Social Development.

The 2017 Ministerial Youth Excellence Awards held on Tuesday evening (28 November) recognised outstanding organisations and individuals who have contributed towards youth excellence and best practice in their fields. This year the Department earmarked exceptional projects that solve public problems utilising youth development initiatives.

One of those public problems earmarked by le Roux throughout her years at Artscape is that of unemployment, which she has cited as “the biggest issue facing the country’s Youth” further pointing out that even those who complete tertiary education, struggle to find employment due to lack of opportunities. Thus to help address the situation, Artscape has throughout the years  joined forces with the Department of Basic Education to give learners the opportunity to study subjects like drama, music and dance at school.  In addition Artscape also mounts Setwork productions and has been presenting the annual Schools Arts and High School Drama Festivals, respectively, to offer learners the opportunity to experience and perform on a professional stage.

Furthermore Artscape is dedicated to providing opportunities to young performers such as the Youth Jazz and Youth Classical Festivals is a stepping stone towards sustainable arts careers.

Behind the scenes the theatre also offer an internship training course, teaching skills related to the arts such as stage management, lighting, sound, marketing and arts administration. Rising young stars benefit from Artscape’s Resource Centre which provides training, networking opportunities, internet services and industry information.

“It’s a privilege to have an organisation like Artscape where we can make an impact in young people’s lives,” Le Roux said.

The awards now in its 3rd year not only aims to showcase best practice in the sector but also to encourage new partnerships and collaborations for the improvement of service delivery and meeting the Provincial Youth Development Strategy objectives.