- Radio OPAC – Ohio Prison Arts Connection, interview with Mary Cohen, December 2020; View video
- This holiday season, a wish for healing to all associated with Iowa’s prison system – Iowa City Press Citizen, November 2020
- Mary Cohen on “The Iowa Idea” podcast, June 2020
- Oakdale Choir to host a virtual ‘Listening Exchange’ on Zoom on May 15 – Iowa City Press Citizen, May 2020
- Oakdale Community Choir embracing ‘Ubuntu’ – Iowa City Press Citizen, February 2020
- “The Light That Shines Within“, by Oakdale Community Choir accompanist Paul Soderdahl on Arlington Community Chorus concert “Winter’s Glow” (PDF program)
- Singing Connected Relationships in Prison Contexts with Dr. Mary Cohen – Music & Peacebuilding (Podcast)
- Songwriting and singing help build arts-based community at Oakdale – Iowa City Press Citizen, August 2019
- Community Music – von allen, für alle – Deutschlandfunk Kultur, August 2019 (German)
- Mary L. Cohen on Community Choirs in Prisons – Calvin Institute for Christian Worship, August 2019
- Mary L. Cohen on Prison Choirs That Churches Can Start – Calvin Institute for Christian Worship, August 2019
- At The Nashville Jail, Inmates And Songwriters Come Together For A Day Of Music-Filled Healing – Nashville Public Radio, August 2019
- The Power of Art and Human Expression On Display At Oakdale – Iowa City Press Citizen, July 2019
- How a Choir Transforms an Iowa Prison into an All-Accepting Refuge – Des Moines Register, April 2019
- Oakdale Community Choir and Guests at Iowa State Capitol – Greetings From Iowa, April 2019 (Facebook Video)
2018 Heartbeat Opera Fidelio Collaboration
- Rutgers Church November 2018 Performance
- BBC World Service – Global News Podcast, May, 2018
- An Iowa Prison Choir Makes Its New York City Debut – Iowa Public Radio, May, 2018
- Heartbeat Opera collaborates with six prison choirs on Fidelio – YouTube Video, April, 2018
- Oakdale prison choir to be part of New York opera performance – Iowa City Press Citizen, March, 2018
- KWWL news segment – March, 2018
- Oakdale Prison Community Choir to be a part of New York opera production – KGAN News, March, 2018
- Oakdale Prison choir participates in New York opera project – Cedar Rapids Gazette, March, 2018
- Oakdale Community Choir, “hope in the face of justice”– Daily Iowan, March, 2018
Previous News Stories
- Iowa Public Television Greetings from Iowa video: December 2018
- Once behind bars, he now sings with Oakdale Choir as a free man – Iowa City Press Citizen, November 2018 (PDF)
- Oakdale Prison Choir Closes Season on ‘Bright Side’ – Iowa City Press Citizen, December, 2016
- Outreach and Engagement Initiatives – University of Iowa College of Education Annual Report
- Finding Freedom Through Song, April 2014 – by Don Lee for Chorus America
- June 2, 2016 Article in the Iowa City Press Citizen
- KCRG TV News Story December 2015
- January 2016 article in CR Gazette
- Restorative Justice and Singing Talk at the Unitarian Universalist of Iowa City June 2015 (video)
- Series of articles in the Iowa City Press Citizen
- U of Iowa publications
- College of Education publications
- Other publications
Arts in Prisons Resources
- Prison Arts Resource Project – research on U.S. arts in corrections: jails, prisons and probation/parole
- Prison Arts Coalition – national network and resource for those creating art in and around the criminal legal system.
- Liberal Arts Beyond Bars – program of University College at the University of Iowa facilitating higher education for students currently incarcerated in the state of Iowa and students from regional colleges including the University of Iowa and Coe College.
***In Spring 2020, Mary Cohen is teaching a combined Iowa City campus & Oakdale campus class: EDTL 2670, Peacebuilding, Singing, and Writing in a Prison Choir
- UK National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance
Research Publications by Mary L. Cohen
Cohen, M. L., & Duncan, S. P. Silenced voices: Music-Making in U.S. Prisons. A book examining music in prisons. Advanced contract signed with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Published or In Press:
- Sullivan, B., Cohen, M., & Seybert, K. (in press). Liminal spaces: Making music in correctional contexts. My Body Was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement. Edited by Kinh T. Vu and Andre de Quadros.
- Cohen, M. L., Kana, J., & Winemiller, R. (in press). Life within These Walls: Community Music-Making as a Bridge of Healing and Transformation in Prison Contexts. Walking the Boundaries, Bridging the Gaps: How community music engages those in the margins of society, L. Willingham, Ed. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
- Sullivan, B., Seybert, K., & Cohen, M. (in press). Mutual displacement, mutual empathy: Making music in correctional contexts. Proposal accepted for book chapter in My Body Was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement. Edited by Kinh T. Vu and Andre de Quadros.
- Cohen, M. L. (in press). Songwriting in Prisons: Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process as a Means for Positive Structured Conversations. In J. Borstel (Ed.) Critique is Creative: Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process in Theory and Action.
- Cohen, M. L. (2019). Choral singing in prisons: Evidence-based activities to support returning citizens. Prison Journal: Art and Mindfulness Behind Bars, 99(4), 106-117. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032885519861082
- Cohen, M. L. (2019). Performing arts activities with hopes to build positive self-identity, heal harms, and broaden U.S. public’s perceptions of people inside prisons. In M. Balfour, B. Bartleet, L. Davey, J. Rynne, & H. Schippers. Performing arts in prisons: Creative perspectives. Bristol: Intellect.
- Cohen, M. (2019). As far as the ear can hear: Choral singing in prisons grows a community of caring. In S. J. Pradarelli (Ed.), As far as the eye can see: The promises and perils of research and scholarship in the 21st century (pp. 141-148). University of Iowa Press.
- Cohen, M. L., Silber, L. Sangiorgio, A., & Iadeluca, V. (2018). Music-making as a means to promote positive relationships. In G. Welch & G. McPherson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of music education, Second edition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press
- Cohen, M. L., & Henley, J. (2018). Music-making behind bars: The many dimensions of community music in prisons. In B. Bartleet & L. Higgins (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Community Music (pp. 153-171). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Miller, P., & Cohen, M. L. (2017). “Dear Younger Me”: Writing, songwriting, and choral singing while incarcerated as a means to build identities and bridge communities. M. Reason & N. Lowe (Eds.). Applied practice: Evidence and impact in theatre, music and art (pp. 195-201). London, UK: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
- Cohen, M. L., & Wilson, C. (2017). Inside the fences: The processes and purposes of songwriting in an adult male U.S. prison. International Journal of Music Education, 35(4), 543-551.
- Cohen, M. L., & Duncan, S. P. (2015). Restorative and transformative justice and its relationship to music education within and beyond prison contexts. In C. Benedict, P. Schmidt, G. Spruce, & P. Woodford (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education (pp. 554-566). NY: Oxford University Press.
- Cohen, M. L. (2015). The Oakdale Community Choir: Promoting connections between incarcerated men and the community through choral singing and songwriting. Music as a Natural Resource Compendium. International Council for Caring Communities.
- Henley, J., & Cohen, M. (2014). Constructing personal narratives around key musical events: Redefining identities and attitudes within and outside of prison music. In M. Cohen (Ed.), Listening to the world: Experiencing and connecting to the knowledge from community music. Proceedings from the 14th Community Music Activity Commission (pp. 115-123). Salvador, Brazil: International Society of Music Education.
- Henley, J., Cohen, M., & Mota, G. (2014). Musical development and positive identity change within criminal justice settings. In G. C. Beyens, M. A. M. Ramos, E. Zipane, & T. Ophuysen (Eds.), Rethinking education: Empowering individuals with the appropriate educational tools, skills, and competencies for their active cultural, political and economic participation in society in Europe and beyond (pp. 120-149). Brussels: Access to Culture Platform.
- Cohen, M. L., & Palidofsky, M. (2013). Changing lives: Incarcerated female youth create and perform with the Storycatchers Theatre and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. American Music, 31(3), 163-182.
- Cohen, M. L., Duncan, S., & Anderson, K. (2013). Who needs music? Toward an overview of music programs in U.S. juvenile facilities. In D. Coffman (Ed.), Proceedings from the International Society of Music Education (ISME) 2012 Seminar of the Commission for Community Music Activity (pp. 73-79). International Society for Music Education.
- Cohen, M. L., & Silverman, M. (2013). Personal growth through music-making: The Oakdale Prison Community Choir and homeless men in a therapeutic program in New York City. In K.K. Veblen, S.J. Messenger, M. Silverman, & D. Elliott (Eds.), Community music today (pp. 199-216). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
- Cohen, M. L. (2012a). Safe havens: The formation and practice of prison choirs in the US. In L. Cheliotis (Ed.), The arts of imprisonment: Control, resistance, and empowerment (pp. 227-234). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishers.
- Cohen, M. L. (2012b). Writing between rehearsals: A tool for assessment and building camaraderie. Music Educators Journal, 98(3), 43-48, doi 10.1177/0027432111432524.
- Cohen, M. L. (2012c). Harmony within the walls: Perceptions of worthiness and competence in a community prison choir. International Journal of Music Education, 30(1), 47-57. doi:10.1177/0255761411431394
- Hickey, M. H., & Cohen, M. L. (2012). Function-based music education: A framework for facilitating musical learning and developing human relationships through analyses of two prison case studies. In L.K. Thompson & M.R. Campbell (Eds.), Situating inquiry: Expanded venues for music education research. Advances in music education book series (pp. 99-118). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
- Cohen, M. L., Silber, L. Sangiorgio, A., & Iadeluca, V. (2012). At-risk youth: Music-making as a means to promote positive relationships. In G. Welch & G. McPherson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of music education (Vol. 2, pp. 185-202). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
- Cohen, M. L. (2011). In memorial: Christopher Small, with gratitude. International Journal of Community Music, 4(3), 281-284.
- Gromko, J. E., & Cohen, M. L. (2011). Choir in prison: The relationship of psychological needs to perceptions of meaning in music. In P. Madura (Ed.), Advances in social psychology and music education research (pp. 107-114). London, UK: SEMPRE: Society for Education, Music, and Psychology Research.
- Cohen, M. L., & Roudabush, C. (2010). Music tech, adaptive music, and rock band 101: Engaging middle school-age students in general music class. In A. Clements (Ed.), Alternative approaches in music education: Case studies from the field (pp. 67-82). Lanham, MD: MENC in conjunction with Rowman and Littlefield Publication.
- Cohen, M. L. (2010). Christopher Small: A biographical profile of his life. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 31(2), 132-150.
- Cohen, M. L. (2010a). Editorial. Special issue of the International Journal of Community Music on Criminal Justice and Music, 3(1), 3-6.
- Cohen, M. L. (2010b). Risk taker extraordinaire: An interview with Elvera Voth. International Journal of Community Music, 3(1), 151-156.
- Cohen, M. L. (2010c). Select music programs and restorative practices in prisons across the US and the UK. In D. Coffman (Ed.), Harmonizing the diversity that is community music activity: Proceedings from the International Society of Music Education (ISME) 2010 Seminar of the Commission for Community Music Activity (pp. 81-86). International Society for Music Education.
- Cohen, M. L. (2009b). Choral singing and prison inmates: Influences of singing in a prison choir. Journal of Correctional Education, 60(1), 52-65.
- Cohen, M. L. (2009c). Conductors’ perspectives of Kansas prison choirs. International Journal of Community Music, 1(3), 319-333.
- Cohen, M. L. (2008b). “Mother Theresa, how can I help you?” The story of Elvera Voth, Robert Shaw, and the Bethel College Benefit Sing-Along for Arts in Prison, Inc. International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, 3(1), 4-22.
- Cohen, M. L. (2008, Summer/Autumn). People on the ground make music in the air: Community connections through choral singing. Music in the Air, 24-28.
- Cohen, M. L. (2007a). Explorations of inmate and volunteer choral experiences in a prison-based choir. Australian Journal of Music Education, 1, 61-72.
- Cohen, M. L. (November 2007b). Prison choirs: Studying a unique phenomenon. Choral Journal. 47-50.
- Cohen, M. L. (2007). Christopher Small’s Concept of Musicking: Toward a Theory of Choral Singing Pedagogy in Prison Contexts. PhD Dissertation, University of Kansas.