Our Programs

Portland Intergenerational Women’s Choir

A choral residency service choir, Portland Intergenerational Women’s Choir (PIWC) is the bedrock of the IOC organization.  By using a model of community accountability, utilizing both the space in which rehearsals take place as well as the relationships between choir members to promote service and engagement, PIWC is driven to create a difference in the lives of its singers, sister choirs, and community at large.  This is accomplished by:

  • partners with nursing and assisted living homes to provide weekly on-site rehearsals so that residents and community members in Portland, Oregon can all sing together
  • Provide funding for our sister choirs through tuition and fundraising efforts
  • choosing music that uplifts and invites choir members to be both vulnerable and courageous.
  • Invites all to sing!  No experience is necessary, just a willingness to, in the words of our founder and Executive Director Crystal Akins, “Make mistakes loud.”

Director: Crystal Akins
Rehearsals:  Mondays | 6-7:30 pm
Location:  Pacifica Calaroga Terrace | 1400 NE Second Ave | Portland, Oregon 97232

Contact the director: crystal@intergenerationalchoir.com

Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility 

The Coffee Creek Correctional Facility is a women’s prison in Wilsonville, Oregon. Our programming allows inmates safe access to music and healing through community singing.  These programs are supported by the work of PIWC, grants, and donations.

  • Coffee Creek Women’s Choir: A choir for women in custody in minimum security.  The Coffee Creek Women’s Choir (CCWC) is a space for women to practice expressing emotion, practice pro-social skills, and create safe relationships through song.  The CCWC use their music to be of service to other women in custody within the prison, sing with their children and families for Mother’s Day, and have an annual joint concert with the Oregon Symphony. The CCWC are approved to sing in the, IOC Transitional choir once they parol.


  • IOC SAFE Choirs: The IOC SAFE Choir program is the first transitional music program in the United States for paroled people. IOC and the Department of Corrections (DOC) have created a partnership in efforts to stop intergenerational incarceration. Our program unites inside and outside community as women from prison re-enter community.  Women from the CCWC parol into IOC to have a space for expression and social engagement.  Women who parole are isolated and often return to their same oppressing and marginalized communities.  A women who can create bonds with her children, family, and through the support of a community can lower recidivism rates and stop intergenerational incarceration. IOC is creating safe communities through song.  Choirs across the United States are invited to join IOC in our mission to build safe choirs for paroled women and their children.


  • Head Start Music: IOC facilitates music times with women in custody and preschoolers at the CCCF onsite HeadStart program.  This program uses singing, dancing, instrument playing to help mothers connect with their children.


  • Music Baby Bonding: Music has the power to create body memory and loving bonds between mother and child. IOC offers music to mothers visiting with their newborn babies.


  • Music Pregnancy Support  Group: IOC works with pregnant mothers inside the prison.  We create music projects that include lullaby song writing, music techniques to use during birthing, and the use of music for comforting mothers postpartum.


  • Music on Death Row: Currently there is one women on Death Row in Oregon. IOC provides emotional, social, and spiritual care for her through music and art.


  • Ukulele Choir: IOC’s Ukulele (Uke) Choir is in medium/maximum security.  Together we play ukuleles and sing. This group brings comfort to women living in isolation.  Statistics show that isolation has the same symptoms as terminal illness.  IOC believes that people can repurpose their lives to mother their children and contribute to community. Music is a language that guides the women to practice equitable behavior.


  • Hospice Music: IOC is on-call for women who die in prison or have terminal illness. We offer bedside music and spiritual music support as women are at the threshold.

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