As part of The Institute’s unique Music and Health partnership with community health fund Westfund, we launched the new Creativity Hub in the main street of the town of Lithgow, NSW in January. The Hub supports a number of programs we are managing in Lithgow including music therapy in palliative care in the hospital and in home-care, called Dying Well and original songwriting sessions at the local high school with young women at risk, called Health Rocks.
The Hub is a flexible space where people can drop in during opening hours and get involved with our casual music and creativity sessions. No previous knowledge or musical experience is necessary and all ages and abilities are welcome. We have a small recording studio in the back of the converted shop front and a warm inviting open area for creating and making music. These regular drop-in sessions at the Hub for the community of Lithgow called Creative Spark and we have the Living Well program that provides an opportunity for music and mindfulness. We also hold individual follow-up sessions for the participants in the established Health Rocks, program after school and on Saturdays. Our programs continue through the school holidays and next month we will be offering a second Health Rocks songwriting program, which will be open to young men and women from the Lithgow TAFE Foundations program.
The feedback to date from the community has been very positive with people participating in creative music experiences through singing, having a jam on the Hub instruments or honing their songwriting and recording skills.
The Creativity Hub is open Tuesday–Friday between 3.30pm and 6.00pm, and all day Saturday from 9.30am- 6.00 pm. All sessions are free for the community as they are sponsored by Westfund Health, as part of their commitment to the wellbeing of Lithgow in partnership with The Institute for Creative Health. The facility is staffed by Westfund’s resident music therapist, Iwan, with our local community support person, Katie.
While the current focus of the hub is creativity in music, we are hoping to extend that to other art forms through our Creative Volunteers Exchange and we are on the look out for any suitable candidates to volunteer and help with this program. It involves people sharing skills and exchanging knowledge for access to the hub for their own creative projects.