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Liz Monroe-Cook, PhD

Professional Affiliate

Liz Monroe-Cook is a consulting psychologist whose work includes qualitative research, group facilitation, and leadership training. She works frequently in arts and culture, higher education, and informal education.

Dr. Monroe-Cook helps Slover Linett lead client teams through group processes such as brand planning and positioning, ideation and innovation, and strategic visioning. Her interests include the emotional and cognitive aspects of audience engagement and how those aspects inform strategic planning and implementation.

In her facilitation and training work, Dr. Monroe-Cook helps teams and individuals use their creativity to enhance the planning, delivery, and sustainability of educational and artistic programs.

In 25 years of consulting, Dr. Monroe-Cook has worked with businesses, government agencies, and leading nonprofit institutions such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Music Festival, the NASA Explorer Institutes, the American Museum of Natural History, and the California Academy of Sciences. Her collaborations with Slover Linett have included research and facilitation projects for the University of Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust, Seattle Art Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

In addition to serving as co-vice president of marketing at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2001 to 2003, Dr. Monroe-Cook taught qualitative research techniques at the RIVA training institute for nine years and presented frequently at conferences of the Qualitative Research Consultants’ Association. For the past 20 years she has been a leader at the annual Creative Problem Solving Institute. In 2008 she received the Creative Education Foundation’s Distinguished Leader Award for her work at that conference.

Dr. Monroe-Cook earned her B.A. in humanities at Michigan State University, where she studied music, history, and psychology. She also received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Michigan State. She lives with her husband in Oak Park, Illinois. Their two children both work in the arts, one as a dancer and the other in the visual arts.

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March 14, 2014 | Nicole Baltazar

Multiculturalism is key for creating inclusive arts experiences


Last month, Coca-Cola aired its now-famous Super Bowl ad depicting people from various racial, ethnic, and cultural groups singing “America the Beautiful” together in different languages. Among the instant outpouring of polarized reactions to this ad rang much praise for its depiction of a multicultural America. Yet the ad provoked a slew of negative responses as well. Many of the ad’s detractors questioned whether this multicultural America could ever feel as cohesive as an America whose citizens speak a common language, and therefore have taken great strides toward assimilating into a common culture.

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Honoring heritage and having fun: I’ve been studying Italian for a few years and can now read a little and hold short conversations with children and tolerant adults. My grandparents came from Italy, although probably only one of them spoke Italian — the others spoke Sicilian, a very different language. I love Tuscany, Umbria, and Liguria, but we hope that soon we will make our own sentimental journey to Sicily, to the towns of my family.

Conversations I would like to moderate: In the late 1970’s, early television icon Steve Allen hosted a series called “Meeting of Minds,” which dramatized conversations among historical figures from different eras. In one show, actors playing Attila the Hun, Emily Dickinson, Galileo, and Charles Darwin debated a dozen subjects, brilliantly. My version would gather the real people: Beethoven with Madame Curie and Che Guevara. Or Lao Tzu with Martha Graham and Charlemagne. (A great parlor game: Who would you put together?)

On my nightstand: Just my cats, staring out at the squirrels. The cats have knocked everything else off to clear space for this activity.