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Wednesday, October 11 • 10:45am - 11:15am
Soul Food: Music as a Ladder and a Bridge (30 mins)

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Soul Food is a highly successful music series presented by the Pontiac Arts Commission and sponsored by the OU/Pontiac Initiative. Pontiac is a diverse city of 60,000 residents located just west of Oakland University (OU). After an election cycle fueled by divisive vitriol, Prof. Mark Stone (Arts Area Leader of the OU/Pontiac Initiative) and Dwayne Anthony (Community Partner) created a series of special music events entitled “Soul Food,” designed to unite their fractured community as it emerged from seven challenging years of state oversight under an emergency manager.

The resulting concert series has been a celebration of the oneness of humanity. At each event, people from varied cultural and spiritual backgrounds gather to share music and an uplifting reading from their respective tradition. This is a music event in which the descriptor of “food” is used metaphorically: attendees feed their spirits and experience the healing power of music while observing the many ways we are all connected.
For a full account of the first Soul Food gathering please visit:

In this presentation, Mark and Dwayne will describe their ongoing collaboration and the effect it has had on their broader community. They will share qualitative data gathered from participating Pontiac residents and OU students. They will also discuss challenges faced in organizing the events, fully engaging the many diverse populations of Pontiac, and immersing OU students and faculty in the process. Finally, Mark and Dwayne will reflect on the numerous rewarding outcomes of the Soul Food concert series.

avatar for Dwayne Anthony

Dwayne Anthony

Community Relations Specialist / Arts Commissioner, City of Pontiac
I love people❤! I believe that we are all connected and share various commonalities that bind us together if we could just learn to overcome our prejudices of ethinicity, religion, and social class and realize that we are one race..Human. Music for me is the dessert of life, it... Read More →
avatar for Mark Stone

Mark Stone

Assoc. Prof. of Music, Oakland University
Mark Stone is Associate Professor of Music at Oakland University, where he coordinates the world music and percussion programs. He is also the Arts Area Leader for the OU/Pontiac Initiative and a member of the Pontiac Arts Commission. Through the OU/Pontiac Initiative, Mark recently... Read More →

Wednesday October 11, 2017 10:45am - 11:15am MDT
Colorado H