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and Inclusion
Task Force

Join Opera Theatre’s Engagement + Inclusion Task Force

Opera Theatre’s Engagement and Inclusion Task Force began as an informal network of supporters, committed to helping the company grow an audience that was fully reflective of the rich diversity of the St. Louis region. In the fall of 2012, the group formalized its role and now meets quarterly to discuss and develop opportunities to achieve this vision.

The work of the Task Force is grounded in the belief that bringing audiences together from across diverse backgrounds for a shared operatic experience builds bridges across our community and creates opportunities for dialogue.

Over the last year, the group provided extensive support as Opera Theatre and a range of community partners developed the #WithNormandy: A Concert for Peace and Unity event at Normandy High School, the school from which the late Michael Brown, Jr. graduated in 2014. The concert raised funds for the “Friends of Normandy” Scholarship Fund, which helps graduates of the Normandy Schools Collaborative continue their education after high school. The Task Force has also supported a special event to help members of our community facilitate conversations about race and inclusion as part of the Diversity Awareness Partnership’s Listen. Talk. Learn. series, as well served as hosts for our new Opera Tastings series, a panel event at the Missouri History Museum for Richard the Lionheart entitled “Art, Music, and Unravelling the Mystery of History” [link to page for event] and a special program for the Urban League Young Professionals, among many others.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this group, please contact staff liaison Joe Gfaller at

The 2014/15 Engagement and Inclusion Task Force

Melanie Adams
Zekita Asuquo
Debra Bass
Gail Boker
Sara Burke
Reena Hajat Carroll
Lisa Harper Chang
Adrienne Davis
Lisette Dennis
Kim Eberlein

Ruth Ezell
Philip Deitch
Carletta Harlan
Ken Haller
Deb Hollingsworth
Steve Houldsworth
Kenya Leonard
Mark Kent
Gwen Packnett
Maurice Quiroga

Lisa Richter
Nicole Roach
Philip Sangokoya
Donald Suggs
Maria Taxman
Alice Tejada
Kira Van Neil

Volunteer Sign-up Form

Not sure where to get involved? This is a great committee to get your feet wet! Tempos will be called to work on short term or one-time projects throughout the year.
Write and speak to elected officials in support of performing arts funding and related legislation
Present opera-related lectures for schools, senior centers, and community groups
Distribute materials at community programs and events
Provide airport transportation for visiting artists and production personnel
Sell merchandise in our popular Opera Theatre Boutique
Maintain the gardens surrounding Opera Theatre during the season
Dress Rehearsals
Usher or sell refreshments in the theater lobby during May and June dress rehearsals
Type and edit opera libretti
Mailing and Office Assistance
Assemble mailings for Opera Theatre activities, answer phones, and provide office support
Provide temporary housing for visiting singers and seasonal company members
Assist with student and adult education programs throughout the year
Lightwalkers, Dressers, and Supers
Serve as an artist stand-in during lighting rehearsals, assist the costume crew backstage, or be an extra on stage
Young Friends Steering Committee
Engagment and Inclusion Task Force

How You Can Help: