In the following excerpt from this week's Art Works podcast, DiChiera talks about reaching out to the mostly African-American Detroit community [1:22]
Jo Reed: You said that you were determined to reach beyond the traditional opera audience and reach out to the community. Can you talk about ways you tried to do that and ways you succeeded clearly?
David DiChiera: Well I'll tell you, one of the things I felt, we were in the city of Detroit, Detroit is-- the majority of the residents are African American. So I thought it was an absolute essential thing for us to do is that we needed to reach out and build bridges into that community as well as any of the other communities that were there. And from the very beginning I began looking for to launch and to nurture African American artists. I did productions, I remember a production of Faust, all of the principals were African American. I thought that was very exciting because people would come and they would see themselves on that stage, they would realize that this is an art form that can speak to everyone. It was also about going into the schools, giving them programs that taught about opera, that gave them a sense… you not only play opera for them, but give them the experience of feelings that they can be creative.