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Well, Well, Well… The Institute for Creative Health Newsletter

20 January 2016

From everyone here at The Institute for Creative Health we hope you all had a very happy and healthy festive season.  2015 was a big year for The Institute with lots of new and exciting projects and initiatives underway, which will continue into 2016.

We began our new partnership with Westfund in Lithgow in music and health, focusing on a music program for people who are in palliative care, and also songwriting sessions supporting young women at risk. We also signed an agreement with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney, working in with their established art program, Arterie, to expand and develop their music in health program, which we hope to launch in February this year.

Continuing to champion the National Arts and Health Framework, we were involved in forums in Tasmania and Darwin and we have developed Arts and Health Leadership Groups in each state and territory across the country.  We have gratefully accepted the support and commitment of so many professionals who have signed on to be involved in our leadership groups and we are looking forward to working with them in 2016 to grow and develop the arts and health sector.  This year will see us working in more closely with group members as they formulate their key priorities and activities for the future.

A highlight for 2015 was the Australia Council’s Arts Learning Forum, where we worked with Scotia Monkivitch and Kamarra Bell-Wykes to Co-Chair the Arts, Health and Wellbeing stream and we also joined the Health and the Arts Taskforce developed by New South Wales Health.  It was also an honour to work with them on the judging in New South Wales of their inaugural Arts and Health Awards as part of their Innovation Awards.

There was a big push towards the end of 2015 as we developed our 5 year Strategic Plan, which has a strong focus on partnerships and research with three key components to our vision:

Arts are embedded in healthcare settings (e.g. hospitals, aged care facilities, community health centres, schools, family services, community hubs, and health promotion agencies).
More people have an opportunity to participate in the arts and to feel better.
More artists who are trained, supported and well-equipped, working in health care settings.
And to kick off 2016, we are redeveloping our website, due for launch mid January with triple A accessibility.  Keep an eye out in the world of the web for a glistening new Institute website, aimed at keeping you up to date with the latest projects and research from around the country.

In this newsletter we introduce our community music therapist in Lithgow NSW, Iwan Stafford and the new Arts and Health Consortium Reference Group in Western Australia and chat a bit more about our Strategic plan focus.

Here’s to a productive and positive 2016!

The Institute for Creative Health