Centenary University Professor of Art Joseph Coco’s CD, “World War III is Here!,” has been accepted into the permanent collection of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The CD, which reflects the political turbulence in the United States today, is now included in the museum’s special collection of protest music.
Released last year on Performance Records, the CD explores the divided American political climate within the context of what Coco calls a “war of words” waging via mainstream media, social media and face-to-face dialogue. While the tracks explore divisiveness within U.S. society, several also find hope in the optimism of young people in America. Of one track, called “This is Your Age,” Coco said, “In everyone’s generation, it’s their age, good or bad. This song celebrates that, no matter how bad it gets, we’re all asked to make it better. There are plenty of ways to make change.”
A talented musician and visual artist, Coco has served on the Centenary University faculty since 2004. As a professor, he is often inspired to create by the optimism of the students he encounters in the classroom. The CD includes one song, “On Jurer’s Hill,” that is based on a poem written by a Centenary graduate. “When you teach, you see that optimism and hope in young people,” Coco explained. “I think I’m helping students find their passion. What I do is affect people on a microcosm level. When they listen to a song and say, ‘I never thought about that subject before,’ that’s one of the gems of teaching.”
Coco has released 57 albums, including several accepted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent collection. The prolific painter has had more than 70 solo exhibits, including four international shows. He is noted for painting the full moon en plein air each December, and often months in between.
ABOUT CENTENARY UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.