Beyond a scientific culture: Appreciating the arts

A little-known and underutilized resource on campus, the JHMI Office of Cultural Affairs reached out to BCMB News to spread the word about its programs and entertainment offerings.  If you are interested in getting involved or simply curious what their office is about, read on for a comprehensive view of their activities.

An Overview of JHMI Office of Cultural Affairs

The JHMI Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) is an artistic outlet for all those individuals at Johns Hopkins with multi-faceted talent. OCA, through the efforts of its member societies, has been presenting free cultural events for the JHMI community over the past 35 years. Dynamic in its endeavor, it has expanded through this period to assimilate gifted artists who perform for the greater Baltimore community.

OCA  currently comprises of 3 active groups – the Choral Society, the Literary Magazine  and the Chamber Music Society.  Here’s an overview of their activities.

Choral Society: This is a non-auditioned choir-based group offering free membership to interested singers from within and outside the JHMI community. They rehearse every week to perform two concerts each year, under the direction of a professional musician. Their programs integrate diverse styles that include religious, contemporary and popular works.

Chamber Music Society: This is a non-auditioned organization that’s open to musically inclined JHMI students, faculty and staff. The Society facilitates collaborations to form chamber groups, musical lessons and professionally directed performances  on the JHMI campus. A violinist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Richard Field, provides professional coaching for members of this society.

Literary Magazine:  The OCA publishes “meme” as a showcase of poems, works of fiction, essays and photography from all current students. They publish this literary magazine every spring.

In addition to these active groups, OCA is looking to form a Jazz and Blues Society, for which it seeks JHMI faculty, students and staff who are experienced in playing jazz or blues, in a small group setting.

Events:  If you’re interested in film, OCA organizes a series to examine and review Hollywood and European films for specific themes.

In a special event on Monday, November 5th, the OCA will be showing an original dramatic presentation of words and images called “East Side Story.”  This production was written and directed by Welch Library staff member Alonzo LaMont.  Admission to the event is free, and more information about procuring tickets can be found here.

Indeed, JHMI OCA is the meeting ground of a scientific community that seeks to express its creativity in the world of fine arts.  The OCA is currently working with the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine to initiate a new newsletter, called “Seam,” which will help fuse the cultural elements present in both schools.  More information about membership and event schedule can be found here, or you can find the OCA on Facebook.

-Sunetra Biswas

One thought on “Beyond a scientific culture: Appreciating the arts

  1. Pingback: November Issue | BCMB News

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