Harlem Gospel Choir returns

Staff Reports

The Harlem Gospel Choir Brings Its Gospel Celebration to the Lincoln October 5

Performing contemporary gospel with a touch of jazz and blues, the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir is synonymous with power vocals, glorious sound, and infectious energy. For more than two decades, they have been America’s premier gospel choir, thrilling audiences around the globe with the inspirational power of black gospel music.

As part of Columbus’ celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, CAPA presents the Harlem Gospel Choir at the Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.) on Friday, October 5, at 8 pm. Tickets are $30 and $40 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.

Deeply rooted in the history of the African-American slave trade, black gospel music can be traced back to the 1700s when African slaves brought their unique musical heritage to America and combined it with their new faith—Christianity. This unique musical tradition, born of the hardship and trials of slavery, forever changed the country’s musical landscape and created the roots for blues, soul, and rock.

Performing modern gospel classics as performed in the black churches of Harlem today, the Harlem Gospel Choir has performed alongside superstars such as Bono, Diana Ross, The Gorillaz, Andre Rieu, Damon Albarn, Pharrell Williams, JamieXX, Sia, Sam Smith, The 1975, and American Authors. They have performed for three Presidents (President Obama, President Carter, and President Nelson Mandela), two Popes (Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI), and have recorded with Keith Richards, The Chieftains, and Trace Adkins.

The choir performed with Sam Smith at the 2018 Grammy Awards, at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the past two years, and at the NBC Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center with Jordan Smith and Pentatonix.




Friday, October 5, 8 pm

Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.)

Performing contemporary gospel with a touch of jazz and blues, the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir is synonymous with power vocals, glorious sound, and infectious energy. For more than two decades, they have been America’s premier gospel choir, thrilling audiences around the globe with the inspirational power of black gospel music. Tickets are $30 and $40 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. www.capa.com

Support for the Lincoln Theatre’s 2018-19 season is provided in part by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the City of Columbus, Franklin County, Nationwide, and the Ohio Arts Council to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

About the Lincoln Theatre

First opened in 1928, the Lincoln Theatre is a landmark in African-American and jazz history. After undergoing a $13.5 million renovation funded by a partnership of public and private support, the Lincoln reopened in May 2009 as a multi-use, state-of-the-art performing arts and education center serving the diversity of the Columbus and central Ohio community. The Lincoln is a bustling hub of activity 365 days a year hosting performances, rehearsals, and classes in the performing arts, as well as a wide variety of community events such as film festivals, meetings, and receptions.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CAPA also appreciates the generous support of The National Endowment for the Arts, the Barbara B. Coons and Robert Bartels Funds of The Columbus Foundation, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

About CAPA

Owner/operator of downtown Columbus’ magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex, Lincoln Theatre, Drexel Theatre, Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (New Albany, OH), and the Shubert Theatre (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. For more information, visit www.capa.com.

Boggs proposes state ban on taxpayer-funded hush money

AUG. 21, 2018

Bill would outlaw payoffs like ECOT’s half-million dollar employee secrecy pacts

COLUMBUS— As questions surrounding the appropriate use of non-disclosure agreements arise for government employees, Ohio too has seen the use of these unique secrecy contracts by the now-defunct, taxpayer-funded online charter school ECOT, which spent over half-a-million dollars to buy former employees’ silence against making statements that would be critical of the school or it’s for-profit management companies.

The contracts also prevent former ECOT employees from bringing legal action against the online charter or its founder, Bill Lager.

State Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) said the ECOT hush money, and reports that it attempted to silence a former employee-turned-whistle-blower with a similar contract and cash pay-out, pushed her to draft legislation to ban the practice in Ohio.

“Ohioans shouldn’t be footing the bill for hush money designed to buy someone’s silence, dilute accountability, and keep potentially questionable conduct a secret,” said Boggs. “When it comes to how our taxes are being used, it’s simply a bad investment to pay for a practice that replaces transparency with secrecy.”

Under the bill, entities funded with public money in Ohio would be prohibited from using taxpayer dollars to buy a person’s silence when the intent is to conceal damaging information from the public or to silence whistle blowers, potentially covering up corruption.

“I can think of no greater waste than an organization spending a half-million dollars of state taxpayer money to silence its employees and prevent potentially wrongful conduct from coming to light,” Boggs added, “We can never allow this happen again.”

Though non-disclosure agreements aren’t supposed to prevent reports of criminal behavior, Boggs says illegal wrongdoing can sometimes be difficult to spot for an employee who is focused on doing their job. The Columbus lawmaker is hopeful a ban on these questionable secrecy agreements allows for a more open and honest discussion about what employees experienced, which could potentially lead law enforcement officials to bring charges based on their assessment of employee reports.

The bill will be given a number and assigned to a House committee for further consideration in the near future.

The Conversation

When losing one’s research partner is like losing a part of oneself

August 21, 2018

Joan Cook

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University

Disclosure statement

Joan Cook does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

“If you want to see Rich alive, now’s the time.” I sucked in air as I read the text from his wife.

I knew this was coming. But, I had been hoping for a miracle.

I met my friend Richard Thompson at a mental health grant-writing boot camp at Cornell Medical Center almost 20 years ago. We were both young psychologists hoping to learn how to secure federal funding for our own research. Senior scientists, mainly academic psychiatrists, were presenting seven days’ worth of tips and tutorials on what the National Institutes of Health wanted in a scientifically solid and innovative proposal.

Three oblong tables formed the shape of a U, with our hosts up at the front and in the middle. A wiry waif sat next to me all week, chattering obscenities and disparaging remarks about every other participant. I didn’t have the assertiveness skills then to ask her to quiet down. As I scanned the room, searching for relief, I found him. With horn-rimmed glasses and spiky brown hair, he had a quiet presence and resolve.

Many of the other post-doctoral fellows or junior faculty from all parts of the U.S., mainly top-tier universities, were hyper-competitive. They’d pull you down and stand on your back to get themselves ahead of you. But, not Richard. Never Richard. I would learn this not from that week but from the intervening years as we labored over the conduct of behavior science studies and the write-up of peer-reviewed papers. It’s a lesson I absorbed, and a blessing I had come to receive many times over.

Watching a light go out

I flew to Houston, where Richard now lives with his family. The flight from New York was smooth, but thoughts swirled in my mind. I wondered and worried. How will his wife manage? Will their three-year-old son remember anything about his father, and will this sweet boy find comfort in the handwritten journals filled with love notes that my friend plans to leave behind?

Being with her friend was like watching a candle slowly go out, the author writes. drama/Shutterstock.com

How will I continue our research without the best collaborator and statistician by my side? How would I design, execute and, most importantly, analyze studies without my BFF, a man who joined me on nearly every study, whether I had the grant money to cover his salary support or not?

When I arrived at their two-story, well-manicured, red-brick home, his wife immediately led me to their darkened bedroom. Richard was on his knees, hunched over a navy sofa watching reruns of “Cake Boss.” At 5 foot 10, he was formerly a very toned, 165-pound man. With six months of chemo treatment, a six-week stint in and out of the hospital, and a fairly recent liquid diet, he was down to 120. He was paler than I’ve ever seen him, and the bones in his wrist poked out of his gossamer-like skin. His eyes looked simultaneously sunken and bulging.

I tried not to show surprise, but squeezed his left skeleton shoulder and then bent down for a brief hug. For the next week, I watched him like a light slowly going out.

Most times, I sat cross-legged on the floor next to him and stared at the tiny tube. We watched the Food Network and I feigned interest as the competitors created appetizer, entrée and dessert concoctions using the unusual combination of ingredients assigned to them on “Chopped.” Nothing did it for me. The colorful summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce, the grilled salmon with brown sugar and mustard glaze, not even the three-tiered chocolate cake with a gooey salted caramel topping.

Richard’s daily routine fluctuated between watching reality television cooking episodes while slowly sipping protein shakes or grape electrolyte-tableted water and sleeping. Between the judges’ critiques of the dishes’ presentation, taste and creativity, we talked about his son’s diverse and loving preschool and the fact that he could stay there through the eighth grade, Richard’s concerns for his wife’s well-being and his thoughts on the afterlife. “I believe,” he told me, “And, if there’s nothing there, that’s okay too.” I responded, “I believe too,” hoping there’s a reunion of loved ones waiting on the other side, with gentle winds blowing and a vat of bold Italian red wine, where we all dance barefooted.

I need to believe that Richard will die in peace and love, and that his wife and son will grieve well, and then live happily. Less importantly, I need to trust that my research will go on without my number one man analyzing data by my side.

A heavy weight, and goodbye

Richard’s wife asked if I could take him to the hospital for a blood draw and an appointment with the oncologist. As I wheeled Richard in the low-end design folding chair, I was tempted to hang my heavy, black bag on the attached tall pole. The load felt too much.

As we waited for his blood draw, we chatted about the volunteers in short blue and white pin-striped jackets and how kind they were to bring coffee and graham crackers to the patients and their loved ones. We talked about past bosses and current people in our field, those we liked and those we weren’t particularly fond of. We spoke about this progressive Episcopalian church he had been attending for the past four years, and how the pastor was coming over the next day.

But, after the technician drew Richard’s blood and I wheeled him to the seventh floor for his oncology appointment, our conversation changed. As we sat in the pea-green and light purple plaid waiting area, he said, “I’m glad you’re here. My wife couldn’t bear to hear what the doctor had to say.”

That made sense. Richard’s wife needed to take this in doses; many of us would. The stage four cancer that had started in his colon had proliferated throughout his body, particularly his liver. “The treatments have stopped working,” he paused. “There’s an experimental drug that might buy me another month, but the side effects sound really bad. For what? So I can have a poor quality of life, and my wife and kid have to witness?”

The information sat like a solid weight, pressing above my breasts. I nodded. “I’m going to arrange for hospice to come on Monday,” he said, with whispered voice and flat expression. I could feel myself going into rapid, shallow breathing. As clinical psychologists, we’ve both walked hundreds of people through ways to safely get through an anxiety attack. “Remember what you’ve learned,” I say inside my head. I tried to get myself into a comfortable position and breathe in through my nose. I concentrated on taking the breaths down to my stomach, and then exhaled slowly and smoothly through my mouth. The belly breathing rhythmically kicked in as I listened to my friend talk again about his imagined afterlife.

I wished I could stay until the end, serving as a steady presence and anchor for Richard and his small family. If only I lived closer, I could pop in and out, with picture books and plush stuffed animals for his son, a little prosecco and a broad shoulder for his wife, and a mirror of gratitude and awe for my sweet friend.

As I departed from their home, likely for the last time, I stood on my tiptoes and gave him a huge hug. In a raspy voice, he whispered, “Thanks for everything.” I squeezed his frail frame tighter. “Thank you, Friend,” I responded, “My life is better because of you.”

I knew not to say more. My friend and his wife are emotionally contained people, the stiff upper lip kind, particularly in the face of this ending.

I took one more squeeze and sniffled my way out his bedroom to grab my bags and head for home.

As my first step hit the top stair downward, he yelled, with what I imagine took most of his strength. “Joan?”

Hopping back up and peering in the bedroom, I found him already in his routine kneel-position. “I love you,” he said. “I love you too, Friend,” I said with as much clarity as I could.

“See you,” he replied.

I nodded a few times, my eyes closed, resting for what seemed awhile. “See you.”

Editor’s note: Richard Thompson died Aug. 16, 2018. His funeral is planned for Aug. 22, 2018.



Staff Reports