Monday, February 2, 2004

Harriet Tubman play presented

Good things happening

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The story of Harriet Tubman, credited with making more than 19 trips to the South and successfully guiding more than 300 slaves to freedom, is among the most enduring accounts of Black History Month.

Theatre IV, Ohio's oldest and largest nonprofit professional theater dedicated to children, parents and teachers, will give three free performances of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

The group will perform at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at Hughes Center, 2515 Clifton Ave., , and at 1 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Art Consortium of Cincinnati, 1515 Linn St., West End.

"We have had great responses from the Harriet Tubman (production), both nationally and locally,'' said Kelly Germain, artistic director of Theatre IV. "It is a 45-minute play set to music. Five actors perform the play.''

The performances are presented by the Robert S. Duncanson Society of the Taft Museum of Art in honor of National African American Heritage Month.

Tamera Lenz Muente, communications specialist for the museum, said seating is limited and reservations are required. Call 684-4524.

Theatre IV gives performances in 28 states.

This year, Theatre IV will become the Taft Museum of Art's resident theater company, performing regularly in the Museum's new Luther Hall.

Top tumblers

Three Northern Kentucky youths are making a name for themselves in trampoline and tumbling.

Brent Walton, 11, Chris Sikra, 10, and Justin Youtsey, 9, who made the National Jumpstart Team 2004 last month, attended the team's camp from Jan. 8-11 at Lakefront Foundation Olympic Center, Birmingham, Ala.

"This means they will be tracked in their progress to see how they develop,'' said Cindy Youtsey, Justin's mother.

The youths qualified for the team camp on Dec. 5 in Chicago.

JumpStart is the trampoline talent identification program for ages 7 to 12 and provides educational opportunities for them and their coaches.

"What JumpStart does is assist these athletes in developing flexibility, speed and fitness to help them to reach eligible senior elite status,'' said David Cole, president of Top Flight Gym in Crestview Hills, where the youths train. "Once they become 18 and reach the eligible senior elite status, they are eligible for the National Olympic trials.''


A $20,000 grant from the Andrew Jergens Foundation to Cincinnati's Interfaith Hospitality Network and the University of Cincinnati Department of Family Medicine will be used to help adolescents at the hospitality network homeless shelter.

Bob Moore, Interfaith's executive director, will administer the program.

He said the grant will provide therapy and treatment of depression, anxiety and other disorders to 100 adolescents at the shelter.

UC professor Susan Montauk and associate professor Jerry Friemonth are providing group and individual mental health treatment.

Lawson Wulsin, professor in UC's Department of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, is a consultant to the project.

"Homeless families' fears and frustrations and their need for shelter, jobs and health care can be so overwhelming that the needs of adolescents suddenly get deeply buried,'' said Montauk. "Yet, without parental guidance and emotional support, many teens turn to alcohol and drugs. Worse still, the suicide rate among homeless teens is alarmingly high.''

The local project will serve as a model that can be duplicated by other local, state and national family shelters, Montauk said.

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