On the Couch with Louise Bezzina

Brisbane-Festival-Louise-BezzinaWho is Louise Bezzina?
I am a wife and mother of two children who are 7 and 4 years old. I am the Artistic Director of Brisbane Festival. I am a passionate advocate of the arts with my life centered around performance and all things creative. My journey with the arts started when I was 4 years old as a young ballerina continuing with theatre and dance until I started working in Festivals from the age of 19 years old. I am a proud Queenslander.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I honestly cannot imagine working any where other than in the arts. I have worked in Festivals for 20 years so perhaps working in a gallery or theatre would be exciting for a change sometime in the future.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my children, their youthful energy, and their innocence. It is the magic and gift of youth and their spirit always brings me back to earth. They also inspire me to work hard to create a better world for them and their generation. To create a world that is abundant with arts and cultural offerings that is accessible for everyone.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I hope that the work I do in some small way makes a difference in the world. Creating arts experiences and performances that are accessible for all community members to engage with is so important to our vitality and sense of wellbeing. I think the difference that we need now is hope for a better future, one that is more generous and sustainable, one that is more tolerant. I believe that the arts are critical to making this change.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Last year my family and I travelled to Europe and I completely fell in love with Porto in Portugal. It was beaming with life, music, and food everywhere. The windy, steep cobblestone roads and meandering along the river was such a wonderful experience and took you back in time to old Europe. I think this memory seems even more exciting now as the opportunities to travel internationally feel like an unattainable experience.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The Brisbane Powerhouse, Howard Smith Wharves, GoMA and South Bank are all on the list. They each have something special and different to offer from live performance, great food, visual arts, stunning outlooks, and fresh open space along the river.

What are you currently reading?
All I am reading at the moment is news clippings, academic reports on the arts and recovery, reports of hope and Brisbane Festival related material. I read to my children each night and my favourite children’s book is Clarisse, The Chicest Mouse in Paris. I have a stack of books waiting to be read next to my bed including Becoming by Michelle Obama that I am looking forward to reading post Festival.

What are you currently listening to?
Pvris (pronounced “Paris”) is a band I have just discovered and loving.

Happiness is?
Being with my family and friends, enjoying excellent conversation, good wine and food, some great tunes on a sunny Sunday afternoon with not a care in the world. If we were by the beach it would be even better.

What does the future hold for you?
My immediate future is getting through this year’s Brisbane Festival – the month of September is full speed, engine roaring. October is a rest and then back into it for Brisbane Festival 2021. The state of our world makes it very hard to look too far down the track, so I am taking it bite size chunks now. I am hopeful and optimistic for the future.


Louise is the Artistic Director of Brisbane Festival – which runs 4 – 26 September 2020. For more information, visit: www.brisbanefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Louise Bezzina (supplied)

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