Seeking 20 men aged 50 plus for ‘Creative Ageing’ Project in Derry

Next Tuesday, September 21, sees the launch of a new chapter in the ‘Creative Ageing Project in Studio 2 project as it starts a new arts project for older men.

Previous participants og Arts in Mind at Studio 2.
Previous participants og Arts in Mind at Studio 2.

Now in its fourth year, the holistic wellbeing programme is looking for 20 men aged 50 years plus to engage in a fun filled and innovative arts programme every Tuesday for 12 weeks.

Past participants have created poetry, made block prints and put oils to canvas and visited many of the renowned historical sites in the North West.

The vision of the project is to define and demonstrate a role for the arts as one of the important pathways to maintaining positive mental health. Ollie Green, Artistic Director of the GSCA, said: “We are developing fresh and effective ways to reach people who may find an experience of the arts as beneficial to their healing. We firmly believe that the arts have a pivotal role in developing public awareness of the experiences of others, working on an individual, community and societal level. We operate an open door and welcome you whether you have experience in the arts or not as full tuition is offered and support given throughout the entire programme. And it is great fun as well.”

This project is promoted by Greater Shantallow Arts Group based in the Studio 2 Arts Centre in Skeoge and is facilitated by professional facilitators and artists. The 12 session art workshop offered a menu of art activities (including visual art, drama, creative writing, printmaking, music, storytelling etc) that is decided by the participants and the products of their creative endeavours are showcased in a major exhibition at the end of the project.

For more information contact Studio 2 Arts Centre by phone 028 7135 8750 or email [email protected]

Many of those involved in this project have come through the assistance of well-established mental health support groups and this is another positive step in the right direction as they reconnect with their community and rebuild their confidence. As with all successful partnerships models the aim was to deliver a high quality, culturally-sensitive, and contextually-appropriate support project that will include participants with skills and learning.

This project is supported by the Public Health Agency, through the Clear Project, and aims to provide connection, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment. A creative and well-being themed practice is delivered in a supportive setting, the project aims to build confidence and skills, enable personal recovery from mental distress and support access to moving on. Given the devastating effects of Covid-19 over the last few years this is the perfect antidote to lockdowns and the pandemic.

TThe Creative Ageing project is a part of the GSCA policy of developing their projects as an ‘Arts on Prescription” programme offering a chance to work with a range of materials and techniques, including, drama, creative writing, visual art, printmaking and sculpture. It is also part of the GSCA 5 year plan to develop the ‘Recovery to Discovery’ programme as part of a social prescribing plan to help deliver the NI Mental Health Strategy. Contact the Greater Shantallow Community Arts project to learn more about this innovative and exciting response to our mental health crisis.