Come Together Houston: A Community Arts and Health Partnership is a performance series funded by the CDC Foundation to inform audiences about the COVID-19 vaccine and what it has done and can do for our community. Showcasing the arts and the impact they can have on our world, this event series features four Houston artists: GONZO247, Mariachi Pumas, Outspoken Bean, and Urban Souls.

In collaboration with Houston Methodist Hospital, the University of Houston Kathrine McGovern College of the Arts is proud to present a series of free events for the Houston community from April 9 through July 23, 2022.

4 Come Together Houston Artists

How This All Began

In early 2022, Dr. Courtney Crappell, Director of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, was selected as a Center for Disease Control Foundation grant recipient. The goal of the CDC grant is to encourage vaccine awareness through the arts. Our project will provide opportunities for underrepresented communities from across the Houston Metropolitan area to attend performances aimed to encourage vaccine education and bring the community back together.

The grant's prime objectives are to:

  1. Increase the availability of accurate information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines delivered in innovative and creative ways, and drawing on the strengths of the arts community nationwide.
  2. Increase acceptance of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.
  3. Increase the number of people who are vaccinated for COVID-19 and influenza.

The power of the arts can truly make a difference in ensuring that our community is safe. In collaboration with Houston Methodist, the Kathrine McGovern College of the Arts is on the forefront of using the arts to create change in our community.

Project Partners


Dr. Courtney Crappell, serves as Director and holds the Margaret M. Alkek and Margaret Alkek Williams Endowed Chair at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. He is also the Associate Dean of Operations for the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.

As a passionate advocate for the positive impact of the arts on community and health, Dr. Crappell is currently developing a new program in music therapy at the Moores School of Music. He is also engaged in experimental research with colleagues in the new UH College of Medicine. Most recently, his research team’s publication, “The Effects of Group Keyboard Music Making on the Mood States of College Students,” appeared in the journal Psychology of Music.

As Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, he has published over 40 articles on music teaching and has presented for teacher workshops and conferences around the world. His book Teaching Piano Pedagogy (Oxford, 2019) was described as “essential to the professional pedagogue's bookshelf.”


J. Todd Frazier is Director of Houston Methodist Hospital’s System Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) which supports specialized health care and wellness education for performing and visual artists, purposeful integration of the performing and visual arts into the hospital environment, clinical therapy that utilizes the arts in support of patient and hospital goals, research that harnesses the broadest potential of the arts in therapy, rehabilitation and human performance, and education and outreach that connects the arts in health field across disciplines, inspiring creative thinking and discovery.

A graduate in composition with further studies in pedagogy and arts leadership from the Eastman and Juilliard Schools, Frazier has long been motivated to broaden professional opportunities and scope of education for artists and expand the role and integrated value of the arts in communities. In response, he has spent nearly 30 years forging and supporting research, education and accessibility collaborations between education, medicine, and arts & culture communities in America, creating several new institutions leading to hundreds of new employment opportunities for collaborative artists, and becoming an active researcher, speaker, advocate and author in the field of Arts in Health.

He is the founding president of the National Organization for Arts in Health and founder of American Festival for the Arts and Houston Arts Partners. As an artist and administrator he understands the unique role of the arts in health and balances aesthetic and artistic decisions with the changing dynamics and challenges of the healthcare environment to provide solutions.


Dr. Amy Waterman is Division Chief for Patient Engagement and Diversity for the Center for Outcomes Research at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, the Director of Patient Engagement, Equity, and Education for the Department of Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital, and an Affiliate Faculty Member of the Terasaki Research Institute. Dr. Waterman’s research examines how best to expand access to transplant, reduce racial disparities in transplant, ensure informed decision-making, ensure transplant adherence, promote paired donation, and increase living donation rates.

Her research incorporates many components of clinical and translational research, including patient-oriented research, clinical trials, behavioral studies, development of new educational technologies, cost-effectiveness analyses, outcomes and health services research and implementation of best practices.

Dr. Waterman collaborates with and mentors other researchers in nephrology, urology, health services research, economics, public health and nursing with expertise and interest in transplantation or education research. In 2009 she founded the non-profit suite of educational programs and trainings called Explore Transplant and Explore Living Donation, which enable transplant and living donation education to reach more individuals. 


Donald Rabin is a passionate artist who plans to serve his community to the utmost of his capabilities. Currently a student of Aralee Dorough at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, he is pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute Performance and a Masters of Arts Leadership degree. As a performer, his playing can be heard on the soundtrack of NBC’s Documentary “SkyBlossom,” Fox News “Good Morning Chicago,” and German Television show “Good Moments.” He has also performed with the New England Philharmonic, Cape Ann Symphony, Brookline Orchestra, Missouri Symphony, Cartago Band of Costa Rica, and will serve as the Houston Symphony Community Fellow this upcoming season.

An avid educator, Donald has had positions at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Prodigy Program, Noteworthy-Music Studios, and currently teaches flute with Humble-ISD. His education has been impacted by the Boston Conservatory at Berklee (MM) under Sarah Brady and Truman State University (BM) under Dr. Julianna Moore.

Donald strongly believes that the arts can impact the world and serves as the project manager for the “Come Together Houston” project, Director of the Uniting America Concert, and will be the 2022-2023 Cynthia Woods-Mitchell Fellow. Donald’s goal is to bring artists and audience members together for a performance experience that promotes artistry, unity, and philanthropy.

In his free time, Donald loves to dance, run, and enjoy life’s precious moments with friends, family, and his amazing mentors.


Dr. LaShara  A. Davis is a Scientist in the Patient Engagement, Diversity, and Education Lab representing both J.C. Walter Transplant Center at Houston Methodist Hospital and the Center for Outcomes Research at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. She is committed to research on patient-centered care, health message and education development and reducing racial and ethnic health disparities through communication.

Over the last 17 years, she has been engaged in research exploring the many facets of deceased and living donation. She uses a mixed methods approach that employs research tools including surveys, questionnaires, interviews and focus group methodologies to gather the patient perspective to inform health education and message design. She has worked at all levels of campaign development including formative stakeholder interviews and campaign material design.


Catherine Pulicken, is a public health and healthcare administration professional, with a committed desire to promote health advocacy, improve quality and delivery of patient care, and enhance community health. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Health Education in 2014 and completed a Master's in Healthcare Administration in 2017 from the University of Houston. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, pursuing a public health degree with emphasis on health promotion and behavioral sciences.

Ms. Pulicken has more than seven years of experience in clinical management and quality including projects related to the effective delivery of chronic disease management and care within community health centers to improve both patient and provider outcomes. She has extensive experience working as a liaison between multiple administrative, clinical, and community partners.

501creative has been creating communications tools for nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years — translating powerful stories into compelling digital and print experiences. The 501 team, led by Karen Handelman, has worked closely with Dr. Amy Waterman since 2005, creating patient-focused educational messages and tools, and is proud to be part of this important work. Learn more at 501creative.com.


Kayly Scott is the Director of Marketing and Communications for McGovern College of the Arts. A marketer by trade and community builder by heart, she has a passion for bringing people and ideas together to build community and empower creativity.

Scott is a native Texan and holds a BA from the University of Houston’s Valenti School of Communications.


Melissa Taylor is a freelance graphic designer and photographer based in Houston, Texas. In addition to working with the University of Houston Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, her clients include the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Theatre Under The Stars, Houston Symphony, Downtown District, Houston Botanic Garden, and many others. She focuses on bringing her clients’ visions to life through visual branding, event designs, and event and performance photography.

In the fall of 2021, Taylor began collaborating with the University of Houston Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts to implement their new visual brand identity through new photography and graphic design work featuring their various programs.

Outside of work, Taylor is also a visual artist focusing on abstract painting. View her work at melissataylordesign.net and melissataylorphotography.net.