When I Rise Digital Field Trip : Paramount Theatre Austin

When I Rise Digital Field Trip

In this documentary a gifted Black music student at the University of Texas is thrust into a civil-rights storm that changes her life forever. Barbara Smith Conrad is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. When Barbara is expelled from the cast, the incident escalates to national news, prompting unexpected support from a pop superstar. This small-town girl, whose voice and spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, emerges as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano and headlines on stages around the world. When I Rise is a testament to finding forgiveness within oneself.

Preview the Documentary

Available asynchronously October 1, 2022 – May 31, 2023
Documentary run time: 73 minutes


Q&A Panel Discussion

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Dr. Don Carleton, Producer of When I Rise, Executive Director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin

Mat Hames, Director of When I Rise, Founder of Alpheus Media

Eva Goins Simmons, Member of The Precursors (the first Black undergraduate students to attend UT Austin)

Icy Simpson-Monroe, Opera singer featured in When I Rise

Dr. Dwonna Goldstone (moderator), Director of the African American Studies Program at Texas State University


Discovery Guide

When I Rise interactive study guide with TEKS connections to Social Studies, Social-Emotional Learning, Fine Arts
Page examples


Paramount Theatre Digital Tour

Experience the Paramount like never before, getting up close to the ornate proscenium, going backstage, and into the film booth.
Watch a preview


In partnership with: Alpheus MediaAustin PBSBriscoe Center