The Lullaby Project-NL has been honoured to enthusiastically and successfully partner with Iris Kirby House – an organization that supports women and families seeking a safe space.
The Lullaby Project-NL is rooted in a landscape of vulnerability and courage. The Lullaby Project-NL partners with women in recovery and healing spaces, inviting participants from correctional centres, shelters and drop-in facilities to explore music-making, art-making and creative writing in a supportive setting. The Lullaby Project-NL reaffirms an awareness that all persons are creative and capable. Through creativity all can access a common humanity, and everyone is affirmed as author, composer and creative being. The nurturing entry point of The Lullaby Project-NL assures participants that they are welcomed into a circle of learning with a knowing connection that others will see them as capable. The Lullaby Project-NL initiative upholds an egalitarian approach to invitations of poetry, music and art creation. Remarkable things happen when human beings are affirmed as capable, beautiful and creative.
Now an international initiative, The Lullaby Project began about 20 years ago in a women’s shelter in New York City. There are now hundreds of Lullaby Project collaborations in places all over the world. Various ‘styles’ of The Lullaby Project exist, partnering various people: women who are pregnant: women who have lost babies to social agencies or premature births: surrogate moms; dads; new moms; caregivers; and grandparents with musicians and writers to create, write and perform lullabies for young babies and toddlers. The Lullaby Project has been well received worldwide, taking place in prisons, healthcare centres, hospitals, daycare facilities, homeless shelters and youth drop-in centres. Research about these collaborations has clearly pointed to increased maternal and paternal bonding and improved mental wellness. Most recently, Lullaby Projects have popped up in refugee camps and in tent cities in Europe and the Middle East. The opportunity to create beauty through music and personally crafted texts has been rewarding on so many levels for people who may not have a positive outlook on life or on themselves and for those who are assisting in the creative lullaby making.
In the summer and fall of 2018, the first Lullaby Project-NL was offered in the Clarenville Correctional Centre for Women. We travelled to the prison each Friday for ten weeks and on average, twenty women attended each session. Subsequently, in the winter of 2019, we offered a program through Stella’s Circle Just Us Women’s Centre in St. John’s. We were then contacted by Iris Kirby House in St. John’s, and invited to offer the Lullaby Project-NL program there. We have now facilitated three groups of participants through Iris Kirby House—one of which took place at their partner organization, O’Shaughnessy House, in Carbonear. At each session, we have concluded with a celebratory song-sharing event, with invited friends and guests. As part of the LP-NL partnership in Clarenville at the Women’s Prison, Angela Antle accompanied us for this final event and she created a documentary entitled “Waiting for the Time”, aired on CBC-Radio: Atlantic Voice. The link for this documentary is: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-waiting_for_the_time-waiting-for-the-time