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Delivering Opera Education From A Distance 20

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips for virtual art experiences.  Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to Sheran Goodspeed Keyton with the Fort Worth Opera, share her tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala. 

Sheran Goodspeed Keyton. Photo by Schnequa Pinkett.

When the Fort Worth Opera was forced to cancel their season in mid-March, that also meant an abrupt end to their arts education program – a variety of programs that serve students from Pre-K through 12th grade in North Texas.

Sheran Goodspeed Keyton is the Manager of Education and Community Engagement for the Fort Worth Opera. She

To access FWO’s free education program, Arts-in-Place, send your request to the Education department or email Keyton directly at

says when the program ended unexpectedly, the schools that the company worked with were unable to attend their scheduled live performances. Then Keyton also started thinking about all the children who were going to be home every day, and needed to satisfy their academic requirements. Keyton wanted a cool and artistic way to address those issues. The answer? Arts-in-Place.

Photo by Aaron Nobles.

Arts-in-Place is a free arts curriculum that is sent digitally to anyone who requests it. The packet includes links to three different operas and very detailed, age-appropriate, do-at-home activities.

For elementary students, those activities include word searches and matching photos and other activities that adhere to TEA guidance. For high school students, it could include watching a video and doing an analysis or synopsis of the production. Keyton feels the curriculum complements the homeschooling options from Fort Worth and Dallas ISD.

Keyton sees the program accomplishing two goals.  The opera continues to deliver positive art experiences to the community. And parents who are now surrogate teachers get some pretty cool parent-child engagement opportunities.  Maybe along the way, some new opera lovers emerge.

Photo by Tim Walker.

Up next, the FWO’s Education department rolls out their Relaxed Performance packet, “Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World.” It is for children in elementary school through 7th grade who are on the spectrum – Asperger, Down Syndrome, autism, or anyone who has sensory differences. Look for that packet in the coming week.

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