Photo by Todd Rosenberg
March 2, 2021
I can’t think of a better purpose for harnessing the healing power of music than to re-humanize and reconcile people living in stressful and de-humanizing conditions. That is exactly what Arts Capacity is doing by bringing music’s healing and hope to prisoners. Music is used to allow people to access their own emotions and develop tools to be successful in their future as free citizens.
Arts Capacity brings healing and hope to prisoners and others facing hard times and challenges. Music is used to allow people to access their own emotions and develop tools to be successful in their future as free citizens. With me today is Arts Capacity founder and accomplished musician Holly Mulcahy. Holly currently serves as concertmaster of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.
- The vision behind Arts Capacity: “As incarcerated people prepare for reentry into society, they are given tools. These tools sometimes include training in a trade or learning how to succeed in job interviews. But often, the most important tools are overlooked in preparing people’s return into society. With Arts Capacity, my vision is to share tools that allow people to access their own emotions, creativity, and humanity that will empower them and help them succeed as free citizens. By sharing music and culture, the goal to help people find a coping mechanism or emotional outlet is a powerful way to re-humanize a population that will eventually be our future neighbors.” – Holly Mulcahy, Founder and Secretary
- Arts Capacity addresses many emotional and character-building issues people face as they prepare for release into society.
- Arts Capacity is a charitable 501(c)3 organization that brings live music and art, as a healing and coping source, to prisons.
- Arts Capacity performances are not a typical concert simply for entertainment. They are an exploration of emotion, and a two-way conversation between the musician and the audience. Holly explains what these performances look like and how they play out (literally!).
- Holly describes one Arts Capacity moment that was especially impactful for her.
- Arts Capacity website
- Holly Mulcahy website
- Neoclassical blog: In addition to an active performing career, Holly is the author of Neo Classical, a blog on the future of classical music. Since it began in 2007, the blog’s readership has exploded. Its articles are regularly cited in major market traditional media outlets along with a wide variety of online classical music sites. Some of the most popular posts are What To Wear To The Symphony and When to Clap at the Symphony.
- Passionate about performing living American composers’ works, Holly has been featured as soloist for concertos by Jennifer Higdon, Jim Stephenson, and Philip Glass. Hollywood film composer, George S. Clinton, is now writing a concerto for her: The Rose of Sonora: a violin concerto in five scenes. Holly also mentions composers Anne Guzzo, Marc Mellitz, and Rob Deemer.
- Holly Mulcahy profiles:
If you’re a regular listener of this show, you’ve probably heard me talk about my Rolflex Pro. It played a significant role in healing my repetitive use injuries; and I have continued to use it every day for years, both to prevent injuries – and because it feels so good! The Rolflex Pro is a foam roller tool with clam-shaped arms that provide leverage to adjust the pressure to whatever you like or can tolerate. I use it mainly on my arms and neck/shoulder area; but it can be used on any body part because of how it’s designed. I highly recommend it. As I mentioned, I’ve been using the Rolflex daily for years, and recently signed up as an affiliate; so you can help support the show – at no extra cost to you – by purchasing through this link. The Rolflex is eligible for reimbursement from Flexible Spending Accounts and HSAs; it’s also eligible for medical insurance reimbursement in certain situations. More information is on the Rolflex website. (Visit Ep. 80 show notes for a photo of my Rolflex Pro in my workout area in my basement.)
Holly shares this piece that was written with the help of prisoners:
Violin duo performed by Holly Mulcahy and Mary Corbett