MOT is committed to creating exceptional, compelling, and innovative opera and dance experiences for the diverse audiences and communities that it serves. To achieve these objectives, we produce and present a wide variety of opera and dance repertoire on the stage of the Detroit Opera House and at community venues, engage talented artists from around the world, and deliver education and engagement programs that bring communities together and afford people the opportunity to experience opera and dance on many levels.
COVID-19 Response: “MOT at Home” and “MOT Learns at Home”
In response to the forced closures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, MOT adopted new technology with the launch of new digital programs under the umbrella of “MOT at Home.” Public programs are fundamental to MOT’s commitment to education and community engagement. While social distancing measures affect MOT’s ability to present opera and dance in 2020, we have continue producing digital public programs and curating online resources to maintain our presence, relevancy, and service to our community through opera and dance with “MOT at Home” and “MOT Learns at Home.”
Our growing cache of virtual performances, lectures, podcasts, and lesson plans exceeds fifty programs prepared since April 1, 2020. As future operations are likely to still be impacted by COVID-19 in 2020, the continued development of virtual education and audience engagement is vital.
Notably, in June MOT received notification of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to sustain our suite of MOT at Home digital programs through the end of the calendar year. The grant, part of the federal CARES Act, supports economic stabilization for more than 300 cultural institutions across the country. MOT was one of only eight performing arts organizations to receive NEH funding, and the only opera company.
Objectives for "At Home" through 2020 include:
- Advance humanistic interpretation of opera and dance for a broad public with emphasis on musicology, history, art history, regional studies, and interdisciplinary topics;
- Develop modular interpretive experiences for adults to access through online learning systems, including presentations, scholarly learning guides, podcasts, moderated discussion forums, and recorded performances;
- Create lesson plans, at-home activities, digital content, and standardized Science and English Language Arts curricula supplements for teachers and school administrators to reference even as MOT is unable to visit schools or host on-site activities;
- Engage, as independent contractors, scholars in opera and dance history, cultural history, art history, etc., whose public humanities work has been adversely affected by the pandemic, and contract them to create content for distribution under MOT at Home.
Robust digital public programs are essential to the continued health of MOT, and give us the opportunity to remain connected, increase our online visibility, and maintain a state of readiness for reopening the Detroit Opera House to inspired, engaged audiences.