Maureen Wood: Northside Neighborhood Force for Good

A Reflection by Catherine Roma

MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir is pleased to announce the recipient of this year’s Enduring Sprit Award, the late Maureen Wood. Her sister Peg Wood will be present at both concerts to receive the honor.


The very first auditions for MUSE were held in late 1983, at Maureen Wood’s house, 1309 Boyd Street, in Northside. I rented the second floor there when I moved from Philadelphia to attend graduate school at CCM. Twenty adventurous women traipsed up the winding staircase there  to sing, and MUSE was born. Laurie Pike wrote in Cincinnati Magazine, August, 2017.


The Boyd Street home became a modern-day salon, ‘a huge table bursting with engaged and enlightened conversation about what this world could become if women were full participants,’ says Ursula Roma. MUSE, the women’s choir that continues to perform about 30 concerts a year, was founded there around a grand piano.

Maureen’s stature in the Northside community cannot be over estimated. She was a citywide fighter for women’s rights, fair housing for women and children, and she was critical in all ways to the life of Crazy Ladies Bookstore. Here is a gregarious, active woman, who while not being officially a MUSE 5th section person, was crucial in spreading the word about MUSE because she had an expansive network of friends whom she always insisted had to attend MUSE concerts. MUSE had retreats at Grailville for many years because Maureen knew the very special women there, especially radical activist Janet Galvin.


MUSE wanted to think of something special to capture the true spirit of Maureen.  Discussions have begun and plans are moving forward. As the MUSE NEWS goes to press, the plan is to create a favorite Maureen quote, beautifully scripted, to paint on the Crazy Ladies building wall. Peg Wood and others are involved in this process.


Don’t miss the 35th anniversary concert to get the latest update on Maureen’s dedication. MUSE welcomes your financial support to honor this activist-make-things-happen woman, described by Yvette Simpson, this way, “Maureen was special. She was a committed community leader; a passionate advocate for those without a voice, and a dear friend to many in our community.” There is no better woman to receive the 2018 Enduring Spirit Award then this Northside Neighborhood Force for Good.