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"Voices From Outside the Box"


Program Series: No. 5
Arlene de Silva

Friday, June 4 at 10AM 


In her quest to improve quality of life of diverse populations, Arlene de Silva founded the Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition (CMWC), the nation’s first community-wide recreational music making wellness coalition. CMWC was founded in 2009 with 30 members and in 2021 consists of 118 members including non-profits, senior care facilities, universities, hospitals, physicians, and musicians. Members are from cities in the United States, Switzerland and Sri Lanka. CMWC’s mission is to promote a culture of wellness through evidence-based recreational music making wellness programs, education, research, and arts engagement. CMWC actively engages older adults, caregivers, developmentally disabled, at-risk youth, veterans, immigrants, refugees, individuals suffering from mental health disorders and substance abuse, high school/college students, and employee wellness groups, in Clavinova Connection and HealthRHYTHMS.


Arlene has served as CEO of CMWC since 2009. Prior to founding CMWC, she served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Director of Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio. She was responsible in leading a senior management team which increased the operating revenue of the organization from $13 million and $70 million within 15 years.


Arlene majored in accounting from Aquinas University in Colombo Sri Lanka and holds a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music, London, England. She’s also a Remo, Inc. approved HealthRHYTHMS trainer.


She is writer/photographer of the coffee table book Faces in Aging which includes 60 photographs and stories of older adults from the United States, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East. The book premiered at the 2009 International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Conference in Westminster, London, United Kingdom. She was co-writer/photographer of the book Life in Old Age, a photo/essay coffee table book about the commonalities and differences of Swiss older adults and older Americans, which launched in 2011 in Basel Switzerland.


Arlene was a Business Courier 2008 Healthcare Hero Finalist in the Innovation category for innovating COALA a training program for home care workers. In 2009, Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute awarded her the visionary leadership award for founding CMWC. In 2010, she received the Outstanding Leader in the Field of Aging award from the Association for Professionals in Aging.

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