Latest Publications

Winners Announced for the 2015 Healing Voices Literary Contest

The Atlantic Health and Montclair State Arts & Health Partnership has announced the winners of the 2015 Healing Voices Literary Contest. A total of six winners were selected — first through third place in poetry and prose. Lauren Bozzi, a senior in the School of Communication and Media, won second place in the prose category.

The contest was open to university faculty, staff and students as well as Atlantic Health System employees. This year’s theme was community.


1st Place
“The Meeting” by Lynda Ranieri
Atlantic Health System Diabetes and Endocrine Institute

2nd Place
“I Belong” by Sandra Manci
Overlook Medical Center

3rd Place
“Imagine the Body of the Operating Room” by Susan Durant
Morristown Medical Center


1st Place
“Irish America” by Diane Delaney
Newton Medical Center

2nd Place
“My Community” by Lauren Bozzi
Montclair State University, School of Communication and Media Student

3rd Place
“The Rock Jar” by Jean Marie Rosone
Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center

The other Montclair State participants were Kevin Milton (student), Tracy Novak (student), Amber Lowry (student), Sabrina Mayo (student), and Brett Albert (student).

Read all works submitted to this year’s Healing Voices Literary Contest here.

This year’s winners and participants will be featured in the Healing Voices Literary Readings on Wednesday, May 27 in the L. Howard Fox Theatre at 6:30pm. For more information, please contact Dania Ramos at

Real Beauty: Uncovered Exhibition in Life Hall

Montclair State University is hosting Dani Allen’s photography exhibition Real Beauty: Uncovered in the Life Hall Exhibition Space throughout March.

real-beauty-collage 2015The exhibit promotes the understanding that beauty comes from within a woman. Photographer Dani Allen captures women barefaced, real, and honest without any alterations or touch up.

The project was co-created with Madeline McCann-Thompson and Dr. Esmilda Abreu-Hornbostel.

For more information, please visit: or view this news feature: Real Beauty: Uncovered on Fios News.

5th Annual Healing Arts Coalition Conference: “Growing Up Autism” at the Montclair Art Museum

photo 1

Dr. Gerard Costa, Director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health

On November 21, the Atlantic Health System and Montclair State University Arts and Health Partnership sponsored the 5th Annual Healing Arts Coalition Conference: Growing Up Autism at the Montclair Art Museum. The free conference attracted over 150 people including family members of children and young adults on the autism spectrum as well as caregivers, art therapists, teaching artist, and mental health professionals.

Dr. Gerard Costa, founding Director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, spoke about the latest research in the fields of autism and neurodiversity. The other featured speakers were Dr. Chris Lynch (Psychologist, Goryeb Children’s Hospital), Madeleine Goldfarb (Executive Director, Noah’s Ark Institute), Danny Marian (Coordinator of Music Therapy, AHS), and Liz Seaton (Teaching Artist, Montclair Art Museum). Special guest Justin Canha, an accomplished artist who happens to be autistic, answered audience questions about his experiences as an artist and art instructor. You can see samples of Justin’s work here.

For more information about the Arts and Health Partnership please visit our webpage.

MSU/AHS Arts and Health Partnership Movement Workshop for Caregivers

DSCN1055Montclair State University and Atlantic Health System’s Arts and Health Partnership hosted a movement workshop led by award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman. The workshop was held on September 26 at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ. Several MSU student dance majors served as assistants throughout the two-hour program.

The workshop was offered in conjunction with Peak Performances’s production of Healing Wars, which weaves narratives from the Civil War and modern wars, and includes several depictions of historical and present-day caregivers. Ms. Lerman built upon the concept of using movement to convey the caregiver’s story by inviting the twenty-two participants to infuse their own experiences into the guided movement exercises.

Liz Lerman’s biography states that a “key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics […] resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others.” Liz Lerman was awarded a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award. She is the founder of Dance Exchange, an intergenerational dance company.

(Photo by Kathleen Reddington.)

Earl Mosley’s Hearts of Men Opens September 6

Hearts of Men is the culmination of a two-week intergenerational dance intensive for men ages 14 to 80 directed by Fredrick Earl Mosley on the MSU campus. Dances of community and inspiration are the fruits of this collaboration between men, young and not so young. Octogenarian Dudley Williams, a legendary principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will be a featured guest artist.

Hearts of Men runs Saturday, September 6 at 7:30pm and Sunday, September 7 at 2:00pm. For tickets visit the Peak Performances box office website.

Check out this feature on Wired Jersey, Gentrix Shanga, producer – Hearts of Men: Choreographer Fredrick Earl Mosley.

Shanghai Theatre Academy and MSU College of the Arts Film Exchange

shanghaitheater_smallThis past July and August, film students from the Shanghai Theater Academy and Montclair State University’s College of the Arts collaborated on the short film Forever Shakespeare.

The project and the student filmmakers were featured in The Montclair Times (full article here) and Wired Jersey (featured story here).

Follow the link to view the documentary The Making of Forever Shakespeare.

Arts and Health Partnership June Events

The Montclair State University and Atlantic Health System Arts and Partnership finished its inaugural year with two on-campus events last month.

A closing event was held on June 6 in Kasser Theatre during a pre-show reception for the Peak Performances production of Liz Queler’s Still Will Be Heard. Daniel Gurskis (CART Dean), Joseph Trunfio (President/CEO, AHS), and William Neigher (Vice President of System Development, AHS) spoke about partnership accomplishments over the 2013-2014 academic year as well as current projects and future goals.

On June 17, the 2014 Healing Voices Literary Readings were held in the L. Howard Fox Theatre. Joan Cusack Handler (Publisher/Senior Editor, CavanKerry Press) hosted the evening that featured readings of original work written by the winners and participants of the 2014 Healing Voices Literary Contest.

2014 Healing Voices Literary Readings

Left to right: Maryanne Re (2nd Place, tie, AHS), Nancy Mendez-Booth (1st Place, MSU English Department), Joan Cusack Handler (Host, Senior Editor CavanKerry Press), Gina Carro (2nd place, tie, AHS), Lorie McDonald (3rd Place, AHS), Dayra Luz Perez (Participant, MSU Children’s Center), Lauren Medici (Healing Arts, AHS)


Nancy Mendez-Booth Named Winner of 2014 Healing Voices Literary Contest

Atlantic Health System and Montclair State University are proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Healing Voices Literary Contest. Earlier this year, faculty, staff and students of Montclair State University, along with Atlantic Health System employees, were invited to submit short written works centered on this year’s theme of gratitude. The following four winners were selected out of twenty-five entries of poetry and prose:

1st Place
“With Deepest Gratitude” by Nancy Mendez-Booth
Montclair State University, English Department
2nd Place (tie)
“Gratitude: Pass the Torch!” by Maryann Re
Atlantic Health System, Chilton Medical Center
“Thankful for a New Day” by Gina Carro
Atlantic Health System, Morristown Medical Center
3rd Place
“The Lifeline” by Lorie McDonald
Atlantic Health System, Overlook Medical Center

The Office of Education and Community Outreach for the College of the Arts congratulates all contestants, especially the eight MSU participants: Paige Briglia (student), Kristin Kelly (student), Sharon Lewis (English department), Dayra Luz Perez (Children’s Center), Danielle Rose Pino (student), Nicholas Samaras (English department), Alice Wright (Linguistics department), and first place winner Nancy Mendez-Booth (English department).

Ms. Mendez-Booth’s essay poignantly expresses the healing power of gratitude following a difficult personal loss. Her honest, reflective writing demonstrates the significant role the literary arts can play in physical and emotional recovery. Read “With Deepest Gratitude” by Nancy Mendez-Booth and all other contest entries here: Healing Voices Submitted Works

The Healing Voices Literary Readings will offer contest winners and participants an opportunity to share their writing in a public forum on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in the L. Howard Fox Theatre at 6:30pm. For more information, please contact Dania Ramos at

MSU Alum Donates Artwork to Polaris Project

Montclair State University’s College of the Arts (CART) recently facilitated the donation of artwork to the Newark offices of Polaris Project, an organization that combats against human trafficking in the United States and around the world. As part of its Arts and Health Initiatives, the Office of Education and Community Outreach (OECO) selected artist Kilolo Kumanyika, a graduate of the Art and Design program and current MSU staff member, to represent the university through her uplifting and healing paintings.

Ms. Kumanyika donated poster prints of two original acrylic paintings, “Mother and Child” and “Flower One,” which now hang in the center room of Polaris Project’s office space. Kilolo states that one of her artistic goals is to use her creative work as a therapeutic tool for at-risk populations. Her bright and soothing images (seen below) are the perfect fit for the comforting and positive atmosphere Polaris Project strives to maintain for its clients.

For more information about the Polaris Project and the important work they do nationally and abroad – including the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, policy advocacy, training and technical assistance, and client services – please visit their website:

Mother and Child ©2012 Kilolo Kumanyika wm

Flower One ©2008 Kilolo Kumanyika wm


Andrea Strongwater’s “Where We Once Gathered” on Display in the Life Hall Exhibition Space

kristall_110713_mt_tif_Montclair State University’s College of the Arts, Office of Education and Community Outreach is sponsoring Where We Once Gathered: Lost Synagogues of Europe, an exhibit of print illustrations by Andrea Strongwater. The collection showcases renderings of structures destroyed by Nazi soldiers during Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). Ms. Strongwater has also published two companion books for this project, Lost Synagogues of Europe and Lost Synagogues of Germany.

On the evening of November 11, the Office of Education and Community Outreach hosted the opening reception and book signing with Ms. Strongwater. Student news producers Nilay Patel and Sofia Chavez of WiredJersey were on hand to cover the event, which was included in MSU’s 9th Annual Diversity Week. Please use the link below to view the video.

Artist Spotlight: Andrea Strongwater | What was once Lost has been Recreated from

Andrea Strongwater’s artwork will remain on display in the Life Hall Exhibition Space through the end of the December as part of Montclair State’s Kristallnacht Commemorative Program.

The Life Hall Exhibition Space is free and open to the public. Hours are 8:30am-4:30pm.