Past 2021 Programs
January 9, 2021
The 1960s ushered in several medical advancements including the first heart transplant and improvements in respiratory health research for children. In this session of Sixties Science, participants will learn about advancements in medical treatment and research and see how it connects to medical issues today. They will build their own set of inflatable lungs and a heart pump and then determine how to repair them when the patient is ill. The Sixties Science program is a monthly series connecting history and STEAM from the 1960s to today for students ages 8-13. This program will highlight new topics each month through virtual programs debuting on YouTube the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. Visit our Education page for resources for this program and upcoming dates and topics. Video Link: http://bit.ly/SixtiesScience
January 14, 2021
A virtual program of scenes and monologues drawn from the play Mama’s Boy, by Rob Urbinati, and interviews with real people who knew Marguerite Oswald, one of the most compelling and divisive characters in history. Mama’s Boy tells the story of Lee Harvey Oswald’s complex relationship with his overbearing mother, Marguerite. The play follows her reckless attempts to reunite her family, from Lee’s return to the U.S. from Russia, through the assassination of President Kennedy, to her son’s own murder and her defense of his innocence. The story is an examination of the dynamics of an American family that play out in the shadow of history. Directed by playwright Rob Urbinati, the program intersperses selections from the play—a work of fiction—with conversations with real people whose lives intersected Marguerite’s. From Ruth Paine to Bob Schieffer, the program examines not only the story of the Oswald family but the interplay between historic events and creativity. Sponsored by Frost | Banking Investments Insurance
Betsy Aidem* Betsy Aidem is a film, television and stage actress whose film work includes The Bleeding House, See You in the Morning, A Vigilante and Aeris. Her television work includes The High Life and The Americans. Her stage work includes Steel Magnolias and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. She first became interested in acting while she was in high school. Her debut was as a fairy in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is also a stage play director and her first professional production was in 2018, A Doll’s House, Part 2., which was a stage production of the Lucas Hnath comedy. She received the 2007 Obie for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
Melissa Maxwell* Melissa Maxwell is a director who specializes in new play development; an actor of stage film and tv; an award-winning playwright; a motivational speaker with two TEDx Talks to her credit; an acting company member and Co-Associate Artistic Director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival; and the Director of Professional Development at Stella Adler Studio of Acting NY. For a full list of her credit, visit: www.melissamaxwell.com.
Sharon Omi* SHARON OMI works in theatre, film, and television, and has appeared in plays at the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and East West Players, among many others. She starred in Eat With Me (now streaming on Hulu) for which she won an award for best actress at the Out on Film Festival in Atlanta. She also appeared in the films Yellow, Terminal USA and Only the Brave. Her recent television credits include recurring roles on, Forever (Amazon), The First (Hulu), and appearances on The Resident, How to Get Away With Murder, Criminal Minds – Beyond Borders, among many others.
Christie Vela* Christie Vela is a director, actor, producer of theater who has called Dallas, TX home since 1993. In that time you've seen her work all over the Metroplex. She currently serves as Associate Artistic Director at Theatre Three. She is an artistic company member at Kitchen Dog Theatre and Second Thought Theatre. Christie is also founding member of the Diane and Hal Brierly Resident Acting Company at The Tony Award Winning Dallas Theater Center. Christie also directs film and enjoys talking about Horror movies and the wealth of delicious tacos available in her city via her podcast Terror and Tacos. She is currently in post production Final Dress to be released in 2021.
Omar Padilla Omar Padilla is a Mexican born actor, writer, and producer, residing in Dallas, TX. He has worked with several Theatre Companies around the DFW area, including Undermain Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theatre, Ochre House, Cara Mia Theatre, Teatro Dallas, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Altered Shakespeare, Prism Movement, Theatre Arlington, Shakespeare in the Bar, among others. As writer, his credits include: Scouts and Flags (2017), Bongo Talks (2018), and Tlali – When We Were Earth (2019). All of them as part of Teatro Dallas educational program. Omar has also been a teaching artist for the last five years, collaborating with organizations such as Junior Players, Dallas Theater Center, Water Tower Theatre, Nine 9 Agency, and The Flame Foundation. Omar is represented by the Kim Dawson Agency, where his work extends into film, radio and T.V. He was last seen in the short film The Monster in His Labyrinth, where he has also been credited as producer and editor. * member, AEA and SAG-AFTRA
Bud Kennedy As an eight-year-old Fort Worth native, Kennedy saw the presidential party on their way from Carswell Air Force Base to the Hotel Texas on November 21, 1963. He later had a brief but memorable personal encounter with Marguerite Oswald. As a noted columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1987, Kennedy has written several assassination-related stories about Fort Worth.
Ruth Paine A housewife in Irving, Texas, Paine met Lee and Marina Oswald in February 1963 and became a central figure in the Kennedy assassination story. Marina Oswald and her daughters were living with Paine on November 22, 1963, and Paine had previously helped get Lee Harvey Oswald a job at the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald’s rifle was stored in her garage in Irving. Paine actively cooperated with investigators following the assassination, and she testified at length to the Warren Commission in 1964.
Bob Ray Sanders A noted newspaper, radio and television journalist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for more than four decades, Sanders was attending high school at an African-American school in Fort Worth in 1963. On Thanksgiving Day that year, his marching band performed a memorial tribute to President Kennedy. Sanders was later actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement and peace movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
Bob Schieffer An author and award-winning broadcast journalist, Schieffer joined CBS News in 1969 and served as weekend anchor of the CBS Evening News (1976-96), Chief Washington Correspondent (1982-2015) and host of Face the Nation (1991-2015). In 1963, as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he drove Marguerite Oswald to Dallas police headquarters following the assassination. He also covered Officer J.D. Tippit's funeral in Oak Cliff on November 25, 1963.
John McCaa John McCaa is an award-winning journalist best known for his work with WFAA-TV in Dallas. During a 42-year career in television news, McCaa served as a Reporter, News Manager and News Anchor. McCaa earned a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, a master’s degree in Politics from the University of Dallas and a PhD in Humanities: History of Ideas from the University of Texas at Dallas. McCaa retired from WFAA in March 2019. He is a member of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Board of Directors and the National Board of the organization “Carry the Load.” He is a Past President of the Press Club of Dallas and the DFW Association of Black Communicators. He has been inducted to the C.E. Shuford Hall of Honor at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, the Press Club of Dallas’ North Texas Legends, and the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.
Conceived and directed by
Rob Urbinati, Playwright Rob Urbinati is a freelance director and writer based in New York City. Rob’s plays include Hazelwood Jr. High, Murder On West Moon Street, Death by Design, Mama’s Boy and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, published by Samuel French. The Queen Bees, Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant, and UMW:University of Mostly Whites are published by Stage Rights. His book, “Play Readings: A Complete Guide for Theatre Practitioners” is published by Taylor and Francis. His plays have received over 200 productions worldwide. In NYC, Rob has directed world premieres including Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash for the Culture Project, Al Letson’s Summer in Sanctuary, James Armstrong’s Foggy Bottom and Jan Buttram’s The President and Her Mistress at the Abingdon, Eric Bogosian’s Griller for Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Kirk Bromley’s Syndrome at the Greenwich St. Theatre, Bromley and Jessica Grace Wing’s Lost for the New York Fringe Festival, Bromley’s Syndrome at the Greenwich Street Theatre, and Anne DeSalvo’s Mamma Roma at the Cherry Lane. He also directed Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays at Queens Theatre and the Public Theatre, and Mira Spektor and Colette Inez’s Villa Diodati for the New York Music Theatre Festival and the York Theatre, Maria Irene Fornes’ Springtime at HERE, Pirandello’s The Man With the Flower in His Mouth for Classic Stage Company, and Angel Street at the Pearl Theatre. Rob is certified by the Audio Description Institute and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre, and a member of the Drama League Directors Council.
Jay Rogers Jay Rogers is the General Manager and Director of Operations for Queens Theatre in New York City. Since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, he has been the technical producer for the Queens Theatre At Home digital programming initiative, producing and presenting more than 100 online events including digital play readings, mini-series, community events, interview programs, workshops and more. Former lives include actor, director, web designer, bar manager, corporate trainer, and 2-time game show contestant.
Tickets are free. Registration required. Video is available for viewing through 11:45 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 31, 2021. “Mama’s Boy” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordthreatricals.com MAMA'S BOY by Rob Urbinati
January 15, 2021
The Mama’s Boy Project Education Program provides a cross-curricular virtual experience focusing on U.S. history, theatre and psychology. During the program students will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the Oswald family to American history through the lens of character development and behavioral analysis. This program is recommended for students in grades 9 and higher. Educational resources, including lesson plans and other materials, for this program are aligned to the TEKS and National Standards. A mother’s love knows no bounds. For Marguerite Oswald, trying to stay connected to her family, and her son Lee Harvey Oswald in particular, was not an easy task. In The Mama’s Boy Project, the family matriarch shares her story of how she tried to be involved in her son’s life while repeatedly separated by physical and emotional distance. When Lee is arrested for the assassination of President Kennedy, Marguerite vows to help prove his innocence to create the bond with her family that she has always wanted. When he is killed two days after his arrest, Marguerite pursues her mission to clear Lee’s name, trying to remain in her son’s life even though he is gone. In the following days and months Marguerite continues to crave family, attempting to involve herself into the lives of Lee’s widow and two daughters with no success, leaving her alone. Join playwright and director Rob Urbinati for a discussion on the play Mama’s Boy and examine the characters through a psychological, sociological and historical lens. Tickets are free for this virtual program. Advance registration required. This program is a companion program to The Mama's Boy Project | Marguerite Oswald, A Footnote in History. Separate registration is required for the performance program. Information about streaming the video will be sent 24 hours in advance of the premiere. Video is available for viewing Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. CST through 11:59 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 31, 2021.
January 16, 2021
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Museum and the Dallas Public Library will share items from the Museum’s collections focusing on Dr. King and Civil Rights. Educators Elyze Davis and Genevieve Kaplan will share several objects and tell the stories behind them. Objects will include one of the Museum’s latest acquisitions – a pen used to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This program will be available through the Museum's YouTube page and the Library's social media channels beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Program link: www.youtube.com/SixthFloorMuseum
February 13, 2021
During the 1960s the United States and the Soviet Union used several innovative ways to gather information on about each other. From using spies and double agents to building electronic monitoring and recording devices to creating special message coding systems, the Cold War opponents were determined to stay ahead of one another. In this month’s Sixties Science program, learn about 1960s espionage techniques and test your spy skills with experiments and games involving coded messages, dead drops and “hidden in plain view” message deliveries. The Sixties Science program is a monthly series connecting history and STEAM from the 1960s to today for students ages 8-13. This program will highlight new topics each month through virtual programs debuting on YouTube the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. Visit our Education page for resources for this program and upcoming dates and topics.
February 25, 2021
Change, unity and non-violence are core beliefs Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy both shared. How does the power of their words spoken over half a century ago – and their respective calls to action which inspired so much hope to make positive change in communities across the nation - still resonate today?
Join our panelists in a discussion moderated by Elyze Davis, J.D., Museum Education Program Specialist, to unravel the power of words and how these two historical leaders continue to influence and inspire the world we live in today, and why they matter.This program discusses President John F. Kennedy's 1963 Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1967 "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" speech.
Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) Born and raised in North Dallas by a single mom who was a Dallas public school teacher, Congressman Colin Allred was student body president at Hillcrest High School and earned a full-ride football scholarship to Baylor University. Diploma in hand and prepared to attend law school, Colin deferred his acceptance to play in the NFL. He was a linebacker for five seasons before sustaining a career-ending injury that opened the door for him to fulfill his other dream -- becoming a civil rights attorney. Colin served in the General Counsel's office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Colin later returned home to Dallas and decided to run for office to represent the district he grew up in. As a Representative, Colin is dedicated to helping North Texas families gain the same opportunities he had to fulfill his dreams. Colin's top priorities in Congress are working to lower health care costs, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and creating an economy that works for everyone. Colin is passionate about expanding access to vocational and trade schools and lowering the cost of college so all North Texans have the shot at a middle-class job. He believes Congress must find common ground to rebuild our aging roads and bridges, pass comprehensive immigration reform and take care of our veterans.
Elyze Davis, J.D. Elyze Davis, J.D. joined The Sixth Floor Museum as the Education Programs Specialist in August 2020. She is a career educator with over five years of successful experience in secondary and post-secondary education specializing in government and English studies. She has a Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and a Bachelor of Science in Government from Texas Woman’s University. Elyze most recently served as a teacher with Dallas Independent School District for five years. She spent several years at Gilliam Collegiate Academy helping students successfully complete dual credit courses, where students graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree. Elyze has also worked as an adjunct professor at Tarrant County College for the past four years offering federal government and Texas government courses with face-to-face and on-line instruction opportunities.
Rev. Danielle Ayers
Rev. Danielle Ayers is a justice seeker, author, preacher, and teacher. Currently, she serves as the Pastor of Justice at Friendship West Baptist Church (FWBC) in Dallas, TX, a 12,000-member house of worship, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III. Rev. Ayers serves as the Co-convener of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. and as a delegate to the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race. She serves on President Jimmy Carter’s New Baptist Covenant Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Faith Cooperative Federal Credit Union.
Dr. Ervin James III
Dr. Ervin James III is originally from the Midwest. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Tuskegee University. He also received his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Texas Southern University and Texas A&M University, respectively. As a full-time faculty member, Erv teaches both humanities and social science courses at Paul Quinn College. Erv's scholarly research and writing contributions have been published by The Journal of African American History, The Journal of South Texas ,and the Oxford University Press.
Linda LydiaA native of Tennessee, Mrs. Lydia is a graduate of Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN, where she majored in Sociology. She worked for twelve years as a probation officer supervisor in Dallas County before joining the U.S. Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Mrs. Lydia is a realtor in SW Dallas, specializing in affordable housing. Linda Lydia has a long and involved history with the NAACP dating back to the turbulent sixties as an active member of the TN State University College Chapter. She has served as the chartering advisor for the Grand Prairie NAACP, Los Angeles CA. NAACP ACT-SO chair and youth advisor, Dallas NAACP ACT-SO and Juanita Craft Youth Advisor, TX State NAACP Youth Advisor, Region VI National Youth Work Committee, State ACT-SO Chair, secretary of the TX State NAACP and currently serves as the Youth Work Chair for the Dallas NAACP & Juanita Craft Youth Council Advisor.
The Texas Association of African American Chamber of Commerce has entrusted Charles O'Neal with carrying out the mission of the nation's premier statewide Black chamber of commerce. From service as Chair of the Board of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. to successfully shepherding the legislative agenda of the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce through the Texas Legislature, service on the Sustainable Energy Advisory Board of Energy Future Holdings, to conducting outreach for municipal bond elections, O'Neal has been entrusted with messages that result in improvements in the lives of African Americans.
March 13, 2021
Did you know a modern-day flash drive contains more memory than entire computers from the 1960s? Join the Museum for a conversation with Max Post from the Texas Instruments Alumni Association for a show and tell presentation about early computers and how they developed into the devices we have today. Afterwards, learn how to grow crystals like those used in the construction of semi-conductors. The Museum thanks Texas Instruments and the Texas Instruments Alumni Association for supporting this program. The Sixties Science program is a monthly series connecting history and STEAM from the 1960s to today for students ages 8-13. This program will highlight new topics each month through virtual programs debuting on YouTube the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. Visit our Education page for resources for this program and upcoming dates and topics.
March 17, 2021
Dance is used every day to share stories and emotions as part of a group or on our own. Dancers Tara Gregory and Sarah Matzke from the Bishop Arts Theatre Center led a virtual dance intensive in 2020 to help students express themselves through movement. Explore how to use dance and movement to help you deal with emotions from the challenges of the past several months while learning a few new steps. This program is held in partnership with the Bishop Arts Theatre Center.
March 27, 2021
Join award winning visual artist and educator Dr. Joan M.E. Gaither and explore how artists use historic people, places and events to tell stories. In conversation with the Museum’s Director of Education Genevieve Kaplan learn how Dr. Gaither created a large series of quilts documenting the decades of her life through everyday items while sharing national and local history. Explore the methods and images she used to interpret President Kennedy and the 1960s through her artwork and personal experiences.
In his 1960 presidential nomination speech, Kennedy envisioned a New Frontier. His idea for a New Frontier included confronting many of the same challenges we still encounter today such as civil rights, foreign policy, science and education. Students will discuss the challenges Kennedy faced during his administration and determine how far we have come since 1960 and how far we have yet to go. This program is part of the Presidential Primary Sources Project, a national collaboration among presidential sites, the National Park Service and Internet2 to bring primary sources to students across the country with the goal of better understanding our nation’s presidents.
April 8, 2021
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza presented a virtual artist conversation with Gage Mace, moderated by Curator Stephen Fagin. This program was recorded via Zoom on February 24, 2021. Watch the program at youtube.com/sixthfloormuseum
April 10, 2021
During the Cold War scientists and government agencies worked tirelessly to create new technologies that would improve their information gathering and sharing. In this session of Sixties Science learn about U-2 spy planes and hidden messages before designing your own airplane and invisible ink. The Sixties Science program is a monthly series connecting history and STEAM from the 1960s to today for students ages 8-13. This program will highlight new topics each month through virtual programs debuting on YouTube the second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. Visit our Education page for resources for this program and upcoming dates and topics.