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Innovative 'FWO Arts-In-Place' Educational Curriculum for North Texas Students Amid COVID-19 Crisis


MARCH 31, 2020


Ryan Scott Lathan, Manager of Marketing and Communications, 817-288-1218; Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, Manager of Education and Community Engagement 817-288-1207;


FORT WORTH, TX — Fort Worth Opera (FWO) announced today the creation of FWO Arts-In-Place. An extension of the company’s forward-thinking educational program, this online curriculum is designed for North Texas music students who are currently on hiatus from their regular class schedules during the widespread COVID-19 outbreak. Each FWO Arts-In-Place digital packet will include links for students and their families to download comprehensive study guides and entertaining videos (not all produced by FWO) of Puccini’s La Bohème and Strauss II’s Revenge of the Bat (Die Fledermaus). Fort Worth Opera is also giving students a sneak peek of Héctor Armienta’s thrilling new opera Zorro (and other Zorro-inspired performances), plus a live performance of the company’s recent world premiere family opera Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World, by FWO Artistic Director Joe Illick and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell.

FWO Arts-In-Place packets provide students with detailed information about each opera, the historical context surrounding them, the creative teams within each show, fun opera facts, and age-appropriate activities that utilize household items. During the 2019-2020 school year, Fort Worth Opera’s education department kicked off a new parent engagement initiative to encourage communication between students and their parents. The company developed this innovative and much-needed curriculum based upon empirical evidence obtained from teachers, parents, school administrators, and community arts leaders. The hope is that it will continue to foster open dialogue in each household and help children learn more about classical music, while still fulfilling state educational requirements.

“As we brave the difficult and uncertain weeks ahead, we realize that people are making provisions in many ways to maintain some semblance of normalcy. The world has taken to social media and the internet for everything from entertainment to connectivity to others,” says FWO Manager of Education and Community Engagement, Sheran Goodspeed Keyton.

“While the students in North Texas are prohibited from returning to their regular class schedules, school districts have done an amazing job of providing online learning tools for them. However, many of those tools are limited to academic disciplines. The education department of Fort Worth Opera would like to offer some creative and artistic additions to your at-home curriculum.”

Each season, Fort Worth Opera’s acclaimed education department offers thousands of middle and high school students the opportunity to experience the company’s exhilarating productions at Bass Performance Hall, through Student Night at the Opera. This inspirational program invites students to attend FWO productions with the renowned Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. In light of the City of Fort Worth’s Declaration of Public Health Emergency and the postponement of FWO’s 2020 Festival performances, students who were scheduled to attend Puccini’s La Bohème and Strauss II’s Revenge of the Bat (Die Fledermaus), will now receive an insider’s look at these wonderful classic operas, in addition to FWO’s latest exciting world premiere.

ABOUT FORT WORTH OPERA: Founded in 1946, Fort Worth Opera is the oldest continually-performing opera company in Texas, and one of the 14 oldest opera companies in the United States. The organization has received national acclaim from critics and audiences alike for its artistic excellence. Beginning in 2017, Fort Worth Opera launched Noches de Ópera (Nights of Opera), a groundbreaking campaign designed to introduce powerful operas to the community, each reflecting the diverse cultures of American audiences.

Fort Worth Opera is sponsored in part by awards from The Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, The City of Fort Worth, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and OPERA America. Additional Fort Worth Opera sponsors include: the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Burnett Foundation; the Amon G.Carter Foundation; the Sid W. Richardson Foundation; Visit Fort Worth; Adeline & George McQueen Foundation, J.P. Morgan, Trustee; SmallwoodFoundation, J.P. Morgan, Trustee; Hattie Mae Lesley Foundation, Bank of America, Trustee; Virginia Hobbs Charitable Trust, Simmons Bank, Trustee;Garvey Texas Foundation; Mary Potishman Lard Trust; Fifth Avenue Foundation; The Thomas M. Helen McKee and John P. Ryan Foundation; R4Foundation; Red Oak Foundation; The Rea Charitable Trust, Wells Fargo Trustee; Wells Fargo Foundation; and Autobahn. American Airlines is theOfficial Airline of Fort Worth Opera. Arts and Culture Texas Magazine is the Official Media Sponsor of Fort Worth Opera

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