Arts and Quality of Life Center helps youth cope with stress through creativity

By Jazmyn Burton

It’s nearly dismissal time at Carson Valley High School, and students at the Flourtown alternative education school begin to stream for the exits. But one group of young women remains behind. Gathering in an empty classroom, they form a loose semicircle and, accompanied by acoustic guitar, begin to sing.

Photo by Betsy Manning/Temple University Participants in the “Hear Our Voices” program at Carson Valley High School learn to express their emotions through written lyrics and song.

The girls are participants in the Hear Our Voices program, an innovative music therapy project developed at Temple that aims to promote positive attitudes and behaviors in at-risk youth. Through creativity and song, participants learn to express their emotions in a healthy way.

“Music evokes emotion through a non-threatening medium,” said Mike Viega, a Ph.D. candidate in the Boyer College of Music and Dance. “Music speaks to one’s experiences, challenges, passions, fears and hopes. It also breaks down resistance and allows therapists to address emotions and behaviors that might not be as accessible through traditional therapy approaches.”

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Music as Medicine

January 28, 2010

Last night, the School of Medicine hosted a special lecture on the Humanities in Medicine, featuring a presentation by Cheryl Dileo, director of the Arts and Quality of Life Center at the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Dileo has done extensive research on the use of music therapy to help in the healing process as well as help doctors decompress after the stress of dealing with difficult cases.

Dileo said that music and medicine, while relying on two completely different skill sets, are not so different in the end.

“They both require intense concentration and practice. In fact, many people who go into medicine are often musicians, and I’ve heard many doctors say they had to make the difficult decision of whether to persue a career in music, or medicine.”

One adjunct professor in the department of cell anatomy and biology, Fawzi Habboushe, didn’t really have to make that decision; he’s the conductor of the Philadelphia Doctor’s Chamber Orchestra.

– Renee Cree


January 27, 2010


Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30pm

Faculty Recital:

Lawrence Indik, baritone

Charles Abramovic, piano

Featuring new works by Maurice Wright, Kile Smith,

Heidi Jacob and David Carpenter.

Rock Hall Auditorium

January 26, 2010

Danse4Nia Meets Forces of Nature: The Move/Meant

7:30 p.m.

February 5-February 6, 2010

Conwell Dance Theater

Broad Street and Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Tickets: $25 general admission/$15 students and senior citizens/$10 with Dance USA Philadelphia Dance Pass/$5 for students with OWLcard

Philadelphia based Dance4Nia will take the stage with New York based dance company Forces of Nature for a night of compelling choreography.

– Jazmyn Burton

City in the Suburbs

January 20, 2010

Poverty–often associated with urban areas–increased nearly 1 percent in Philadelphia’s suburbs between 2000 and 2008, partly because of two recessions, according to a report released today and announced in a story in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

Poverty in the suburbs reached a rate of 7.4 percent, compared with 24.1 percent within Philadelphia, according to the report by the Brookings Institution. Citywide poverty increased 1.2 percent between 2000 and 2008, the report showed.

Not long ago, a team of Temple researches noticed this trend as they examined patterns of growth in metropolitan Philadelphia.

They saw city-like conditions in some suburbs, and found the suburbs in the city.

In their book, Restructuring the Philadelphia Region: Metropolitan Divisions and Inequality (Temple University Press, 2008) Carolyn Adams, David Bartelt, David Elesh, and Ira Goldstein call attention not only to the region’s heterogeneity, but also to the need for a unified approach to addressing inequalities and improving competitiveness in the global economy.  (Adams and Bartelt are professors of geography and urban studies; Elesh is associate professor of sociology, and Goldstein is Director of Policy and Information Services for The Reinvestment Fund.)

“Relying on the old categories of city versus suburb no longer makes sense.  This traditional distinction does not capture the dynamics of regional development,” said Bartelt.

To read more and view a slide show:  Philly, suburbs share stake in region’s future

–Kim Fischer

January 19, 2010

Communications major’s documentary studies female hip-hop in Japan

by Jeff Cronin for SCT News

Coma-Chi poses with director Maya Shipman, COMM, a senior.

Senior Maya Shipman, COMM, will soon screen her film 33 Queen, an introspective look into the hip-hop subculture in Tokyo, Japan. It will be featured as part of the Black Lily Film Series today Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at the International House in Philadelphia.
Shipman explores the parallels between female artistry in the history of American hip-hop and the very recent rise of the presence of women in the Japanese hip-hop scene. It highlights the career of Coma-Chi, the first underground woman in Japanese hip-hop to achieve major success.

33 Queen was filmed while Shipman studied at Temple Japan.

“In my second week in Japan, I visited [an underground label’s] record shop in Shibuya. They invited me to a release party for a compilation that I found out had some good musicians on it. That is where I met Coma-Chi, one of the only other women at the party,” Shipman says.

She soon learned Coma-Chi’s story was similar to many other women in hip-hop in Tokyo and around the world. They have remained friends and have visited one another in Tokyo and Los Angeles since filming the documentary.

“This experience has definitely interested me in continuing research on women’s participation in social subcultures around the world,” Shipman says.

Cherry TArts asked Temple Historian Harvey Neptune to help us place the earthquake in Haiti within the larger historical context. Trained in the fields of African Diaspora and Latin American history, Neptune’s research and writing focus on the postemancipation Caribbean. He is the author of Caliban and Yankees: Trinidad and the United States Occupation (University of North Carolina Press, 2007)

Here is what Professor Neptune had to say:

Requests to speak about Haiti, I have to admit, are worrisome.  Why?  They almost always come on the heels of disheartening news that make (or, at least, ought to make) scholars painfully aware of the perils of ‘representing’ people who lack the resources to do so themselves.

For the truth is, despite lectures that laud the creation of Haiti in 1804 as the most inspiring and daring democratic movement in the modern Western world, the nation’s subsequent fate bears way more than its fair share of despair.  From the very beginning, this fledgling black republic was punished for its precocious, defiant seizure of freedom from French colonizers.  Over the next two centuries, peace and prosperity have proved precarious if not elusive on the western third of Europeans’ pioneering New World settlement.  Racist international recrimination, destructive civil war, abrupt agro-industrial collapse, arrogant US occupation, violent chauvinist neighbors, cruel Cold War meddling, atrocious dictatorial leadership, relentless ecological ruin —  name your setback, and there’s a good chance that it has visited Haiti,  conspiring to make Haitians’ present often appear like a mockery of its heroic past.  In their eyes, history must surely sometimes seem like an extended rendezvous with defeat.  Once a sugar colony of legendary riches, the soil of this country has become in recent times an infamously iconic patch of global poverty.

Given Haiti’s overwhelming and comprehensive insecurity, “natural disasters” precipitate consequences whose enormity is anything but natural.  The aftermath of such catastrophes, in fact, tend to magnify the perversity of the impoverished situation in which most people live.  Haitians have come to feel this terrible truth mostly in the wake of the merciless hurricanes and unsparing floods.  Two days ago, however, it was not high winds and heavy rains that reminded inhabitants of their historic vulnerability.  It was the unsteady underground.  Earthquakes are not exactly strangers to the islands and continental edges that make up the Caribbean (Jamaica has endured two colossally destructive earthquakes, in 1692 and then in 1907).  Their tolls, however, are likely to pale in comparison with the havoc evident in and around Port au Prince.

Enough with history, though.  Or, better, the time has come now to embrace the responsibility of acknowledging that history.  For those of us who believe that insofar we have a “civilization” worth saving, we owe no small part of it the small black republic founded two centuries ago, it is time to give concrete meaning to that conviction.  To be truthful, there is no silver lining in the dark clouds hovering over Haiti.  Clichés do not apply.  What does exist is a challenge, a monumental one.  In the devastation lies an opportunity for us all to help build a Haiti that honors the large sacrifices this nation has made for liberties we all cherish today.

Posted by–Kim Fischer