NEA grant to support opera

December 17, 2012

Professor Nkeiru Okoye (Music)

Professor Nkeiru Okoye (Music) has been commissioned by American Opera Projects to develop and present her opera, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed the Line to Freedom. American Opera Projects, based in Brooklyn, NY, received a grant in the amount of $15,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in support of the project. The grant will fund creation, development, and presentation of the opera.

Harriet Tubman is a two act theatrical work that tells of how a young girl born in slavery grows to become Harriet Tubman, the legendary Underground Railroad “conductor.” The opera will commemorate the centennial of Tubman’s death as well as the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Excerpts from the opera will be presented on campus at an upcoming concert in February. A tour of performances is being planned in states along the Underground Railroad where Tubman was active, including Illinois, Maryland, and New York.

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