Public programs inspired by Blue

Inspired by the Chicago premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera Blue, Lyric has developed a slate of public programs geared toward engaging audiences in conversations around contemporary issues relevant to the opera

Roll Call: Policing in Chicago's Black Community, Then and Now

A partnership between Lyric Opera of Chicago, WFMT, and WTTW, Roll Call: Policing in Chicago's Black Community, Then and Now is a virtual conversation that focuses on the evolving relationship between the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Chicago's Black community. Inspired by the Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere of the opera Blue and WTTW’s FIRSTHAND: Gun Violence digital series, the discussion includes Howard Saffold, retired CPD officer and founding member of the African American Police League, and Sergeant Jermaine Harris of CPD's Community Policing Division. It is moderated by the Field Foundation’s Lolly Bowean. This event premiered on December 8, 2020, and is now available for on-demand streaming on Lyric's Facebook.

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Roll Call: Policing in Chicago's Black Community, Then and Now

A partnership between Lyric Opera of Chicago, WFMT, and WTTW, Roll Call: Policing in Chicago's Black Community, Then and Now is a virtual conversation that focuses on the evolving relationship between the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Chicago's Black community. Inspired by the Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere of the opera Blue and WTTW’s FIRSTHAND: Gun Violence digital series, the discussion includes Howard Saffold, retired CPD officer and founding member of the African American Police League, and Sergeant Jermaine Harris of CPD's Community Policing Division. It is moderated by the Field Foundation’s Lolly Bowean. This event premiered on December 8, 2020, and is now available for on-demand streaming on Lyric's Facebook.

Watch Now

African American Police League Archives

In May 1968, Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer Edward “Buzz” Palmer formed the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League, now called the African American Police League (AAPL), in response to growing concern over the treatment of African Americans by and within law enforcement. The AAPL wrote down instances of police violence within the police force and within Chicago Black communities, and sought to educate police officers about the culture and customs of communities of color; teach community members about the criminal justice system; and develop procedures for individuals to protest and try to correct abuses of police authority. These formerly protected records are now available for public viewing at the Chicago History Museum.

In collaboration with the Chicago History Museum, Lyric is presenting curated pieces from the collection on our website. We hope these archives will engage audiences in a dialogue about the relationship between police and Black communities and about the groundbreaking efforts of the African American Police League.

Please note this content engages with topics that may be sensitive or triggering, including racism, racial slurs, violence and mental illness.  

ACCESS THE ARCHIVES

Thoughts on Parenthood

Thoughts on Parenthood is an interactive arts project examining the unique experience of parenthood. With the help of activist and photographer Tonika Johnson, we have connected with communities across the city of Chicago, gathering personal stories of parents—their greatest wishes, biggest needs, and proudest moments.

Taken from virtual interviews with Tonika Johnson, we invite you to meet the families of Thoughts on Parenthood, and hear their stories about what it means to be a parent in Chicago.

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Thoughts on Parenthood

Thoughts on Parenthood is an interactive arts project examining the unique experience of parenthood. With the help of activist and photographer Tonika Johnson, we have connected with communities across the city of Chicago, gathering personal stories of parents—their greatest wishes, biggest needs, and proudest moments.

Taken from virtual interviews with Tonika Johnson, we invite you to meet the families of Thoughts on Parenthood, and hear their stories about what it means to be a parent in Chicago.

Learn More

Blue is made possible by support from

A co-production of The Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Lyric Unlimited - Learning & Creative Engagement Sponsors

The Beaubien Family

The Grainger Foundation

Robert and Evelyn McCullen

Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Inc.

Rose L. Shure and Sidney N. Shure

Wintrust Community Banks

Anonymous Donor

Photos: The Kama Photography, Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival