Dr. Mary Cohen – scholar, musician, founder of Oakdale Prison Community Choir
Friday, March 1, 1:30pm – 2:30pm – Faculty, student and staff invitation to engage with Dr. Cohen at Western Theological Seminary, Maas Hall
Friday, March 1, 7:00pm – “Moving toward Meaningful Connection and the Big Picture Change” – Hope Church in Holland
On Friday, March 1, Dr. Mary Cohen from University of Iowa will be in Holland to speak about her work using the Arts to make meaningful connections among groups, and bring social change. She is an internationally-known scholar and musician, and the founder of the innovative Oakdale Prison Community Choir which is made up of male inmates along with women and men from the community who gather together to make music weekly.
This short video provides a glimpse into her work. For faculty, students and staff are welcome to engage with Dr. Cohen, ask questions, or hear more about her work and research, there will be an informal discussion on Friday 1:30pm – 2:30pm in Maas Hall at Western Theological Seminary.
There will also be an evening presentation, open to the public at 7:00pm at Hope Church in Holland, titled Healing Justice: Self-Expression through Group Singing—Moving toward Meaningful Connections and Big Picture Change. LINK to more information.
Dr. Cohen’s visit to West Michigan is being sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Hope Church, Grace Episcopal Church, the American Guild of Organists Holland, as well as the departments of Music, Sociology/ Social Work, and Peace and Justice Studies at Hope College, and the Hope-Western Prison Initiative.
Mary L. Cohen, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Iowa. She researches music-making and well-being, songwriting, and collaborative communities. In 2009, she founded the Oakdale Prison Community Choir, comprised of male inmates (inside singers) as well as women and men from the community (outside singers). A total of 162 different inside singers and 132 different outside singers have participated in this choir. As of November 2018, Oakdale Songwriters have created 142 original songs (75 songs performed by the choir), and compiled 21 newsletters with selections from reflective writing available at http://oakdalechoir.lib.uiowa.edu/.
LINK to more information about Dr. Cohen and her visit to West Michigan.