Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), in partnerships with iconic Cincinnati institutions, will collect this year’s graduating seniors' experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic through the Class of 2020 Legends project. The project, housed at https://cps2020legends.cps-k12.org/, with many submissions to be later archived at the Cincinnati History Museum, will feature music, stories, videos, photographs, poetry, original dance and artwork reflecting their experiences. The Cincinnati Museum Center, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, May Festival and Cincinnati Art Museum, will celebrate, recognize and provide free tickets, admissions or memberships to the more than 1,907 graduating seniors, from the 16 CPS high schools, who choose to participate.
Laura Mitchell, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, said of the project "We are grateful to be partnering with such iconic Cincinnati organizations to celebrate the accomplishments of the CPS Class of 2020. Our seniors' commitment, grace and determination in the face of history-making circumstances inspire us. This group is already having a positive impact on the world around them. They are legends and we can’t wait to see what they do next."
"At a time when we desperately need the world to come together for change, we know this graduating class can be the ones to do just that," said Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. "Congratulations to all of Cincinnati Public Schools' graduating seniors. The world is ready for your talent, and we want to help share your stories with future generations."
"While the Class of 2020 will not have the experience of walking for their high school diploma, we recognize these students and want to do our part in honoring their achievements,” said Jonathan Martin, President of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. "The CSO believes that music connects us to each other and our world, and we can’t wait to welcome these students to Music Hall to celebrate reaching this milestone in their lives. Our mission at the symphony is to share and seek inspiration—Class of 2020, you inspire us!"
According to Cameron Kitchin, the Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director at the Cincinnati Art Museum, "Our Cincinnati class of 2020 is proving to set a new high mark for resilience. I look forward to the future this class will build for our community. The Cincinnati Art Museum and I are proud of all students and educators throughout Cincinnati—you inspire us all to a creative world shaped by each of you."
Said CPS' Mitchell, "We are deeply touched by the generosity of these incredible and iconic Cincinnati institutions. Generations from now, our legendary Class of 2020 will tell their children, grandchildren and loved ones about their unique experience in 2020. We are proud of them. We honor them. And, we thank them. Congratulations, Class of 2020. You are legends."