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Maumee Valley, Toledo Opera to host “Activating the Arts for Racial Justice: A Documentary Film Screening and Panel Discussion”

“Having this conversation on the Maumee Valley Country Day School campus allows us to participate in the greater Toledo dialogue and build a stronger, more trusting community," said Head of School Lynn Casto. "We believe in the power of the arts to create change.”
The Toledo Opera will host a third screening of the documentary film “Blue: Stories from Toledo,” at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 23 in the Millennium Theatre. 

To contextualize the story of Blue within the lived experiences of Toledoans, Toledo Opera and Madhouse Creative collaborated on a 22-minute documentary film featuring interviews with Toledoans and opera experts, the Toledo Opera said in a news release.

Maumee Valley Country Day School parent and Toledo Opera soprano Eboné Waweru P '23, '25, '27, '30 will perform music and deliver opening remarks. The panelists will be members of the Maumee Valley Country Day School community including student Ny’Asia Mathis ‘22 and parent Dr. Ewart C. Skinner P '24, '26, Associate Professor, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University. Dr. Alyssa Greenberg, Community Engagement Director at Toledo Opera, will moderate the dialogue.

“The arts have the powerful ability to connect humanity and provide windows into different lived experiences, ultimately allowing us to develop empathy and understanding that can lead to real change,” said Head of School, Lynn Casto. “Having this conversation on the Maumee Valley Country Day School campus allows us to participate in the greater Toledo dialogue and build a stronger, more trusting community. We believe in the power of the arts to create change.”

Blue is the story of an African American couple in Harlem who anticipates the birth of their firstborn, a son, with both hope and fear. As the baby grows into a young man, the mother worries for his future, and the father tries to prepare his son for the realities of 21st century America, while wrestling with his own identity as a police officer, a "Black man in blue." When their deepest fears come true, the family is forced to navigate a devastating reality seeking answers and support from their church and community. Toledo Opera presents the Tony Award®–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson’s new opera inspired by contemporary events and Black literature. Influenced by gospel music and using vivid flashbacks, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.  Chelsea Tipton, II returns to Toledo to conduct the opera and librettist Tazewell Thompson serves as the stage director.

This event is free and open to the public. For public registration to the event, please RSVP to Luke Serrano at lserrano@toledoopera.org. For media access, please contact Rachael Cammarn at rcammarn@toledoopera.org. 

Blue is made possible by Owens Corning, The National Endowment for the Arts, and Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information about Blue, please visit www.toledoopera.org/upcoming-performances/season-event/blue/. For more information on Toledo Opera, visit https://toledoopera.org.
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Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only age 3 - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.