Special Event: Celebrating Women and Creativity

Event time: 
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 4:00pm
Event description: 

Showcasing some of Yale Divinity School’s Remarkable Graduates

Trinity Church on the Green

950 Chapel Street, New Haven

Presented in conjunction with Alumni Convocation Week at Yale Divinity School


As part of Yale Divinity School’s Convocation Week, the ISM is hosting a special event showcasing the work of some extraordinarily talented women graduates working in the areas of worship, music, and the arts. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 8 pm at Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven (corner Temple and Chapel).



The program will be hosted by Barbara Lundblad (MDiv ‘79), also being honored at YDS this year with an Alumni Award for distinction in theological education. She is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served sixteen years as a parish pastor in New York, as a campus pastor at Lehman College and New York University and is now the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York.  She has taught preaching at YDS, Princeton Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College and within the D. Min. program of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. She is nationally known as a preacher, pastor and teacher, and serves on several boards. For over twenty years, Dr. Lundblad has been one of the preachers on the radio program “Day 1.”  She is the author of two books that have become classics: Transforming the Stone: Preaching through Resistance to Change and Making Time:  Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense, based on the Beecher Lectures given at YDS.

The Rev. Lundblad will host program segments featuring graduates working in the arts, who will present aspects of their creative work.




The soprano Awet Andemicael (MAR theology ‘10) will present a program entitled “The Ambiguity of Dark and Light” that includes two Handel arias: “With darkness deep as is my woe” from Theodora and “But who may abide the day of his coming?” from Messiah. About the selections, Ms. Andemicael writes:

For some time now, I have been preoccupied with the idea of darkness.  I long for the “redemption of the dark” from the negative connotations it so often carries.  It is not the inversion of the metaphor that I seek, but rather the complexification of dark and light, a fresh appreciation for the ambiguity and rich multivalence of meaning in God’s world and word.



Peter Hawkins, Professor of Religion and Literature, will introduce work of a graduate he mentored during her years at Yale. Martha Dewey (MAR ‘81) died suddenly and tragically in 2009. She was Artistic Director and a founding member of the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble (CITE), a unique resource for education in diversity. With a mission “to give voice to a variety of points of view within the human experience, in order to facilitate a shift in culture towards greater honesty, trust, respect, and dignity,” the CITE theatre troupe utilizes the medium of interactive theatre to facilitate dialogue from multiple points of view on a wide variety of challenging issues, through its programming for faculty, students, and staff at Cornell and other academic institutions, for non-profit and corporate clients, and for conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the United States. In 2005, Ms. Dewey received the Constance E. Cook and Alice H. Cook Award honoring her contributions to changing the climate for women at Cornell. In 2001, the CITE troupe received Cornell’s James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony, for its work in furthering the ideal of community while respecting the values of diversity.


Alisha Lola Jones (MDiv ‘07) is active as a businesswoman, scholar, social activist, speaker, and singer. A fellow in the ethnomusicology Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago, her research is in African-American music traditions. On October 12 she will present four art songs by the composer Lena J. McLin (b. 1929). Ms. McLin is the daughter of a Baptist pastor and music minister, and niece of Thomas Dorsey, the father of gospel music. A well-known composer of a wide range of works that include cantatas, masses, solo and choral arrangements of spirituals, anthems, rock, operas, soul songs, works for piano and orchestra, and electronic music, the, Rev. Dr. McLin currently serves as a pastor of the Holy Vessel Christian Center in Chicago, IL. 


Ellen Priest (MDiv ‘77) will discuss the larger forces that have shaped her work as an abstract painter. Her presentation, entitled “Yale Taught Me to Think,” will accompany slides from her recently completed body of work: Jazz: Edward Simon’s “Venezuelan Suite” #1-23.  Four of the works will be on display that week in Marquand Chapel.

Priest has used jazz as her subject matter since 1990.  Each large series of layered, collaged paintings is based on careful, repeated listening to a single jazz composition.  She studies the scores and recordings, and if possible works directly with the composer.  (For more about her process:www.ellenpriest.com.) 

Priest is the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Awards, in 2001 and 2007.  Her first solo museum exhibition was held in 2007 at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA.  Titled, Jazz Paintings: Improvisations on the ‘Venezuelan Suite’ it included a live performance of the Suite by composer/pianist Edward Simon and his 7-piece Ensemble Venezuela in the Berman’s Main Gallery.

Since 2002 Priest has taught in the University of the Arts’ Professional Institute for Educators in Philadelphia, PA.  In the 1990’s, she developed Eyeball It!®, a studio art program for elementary school-age children.


Martha Serpas’s (MDiv ‘94) two collections of poetry are Côte Blanche (New Issues, 2002) and The Dirty Side of the Storm (Norton, 2007). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Southwest Review, and in anthologies such as Bearing the Mystery: Twenty Years of Image, The Art of the Sonnet, and the Library of America’s American Religious Poems. A native of south Louisiana, she is involved in efforts to restore Louisiana’s wetlands. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and is a hospital trauma chaplain. She recently published an essay in The New York Times on the cultural and spiritual effects of the BP Oil Disaster. She will read a selection of poems ecofeminist in focus. Some treat the destruction of Louisiana’s wetlands and feature water, both destructive and life sustaining. Others depict sources of wisdom in trying situations. Their common themes are wise vigil over the environment —human and nonhuman.